A look at Tahoe’s biggest fires of the century
A sampling of the larger fires at or near Lake Tahoe Basin in the last 100 years:
n In 1917, an arsonist started a fire on the West Shore near Meeks Creek. It consumed about 500 acres.
n In 1924, a campfire spread to about 200 acres at Aloha Lake.
n In 1929, a 1,000-acre fire, started by a lightning strike, burned part of Desolation Forest near Wright’s Lake.
n In the 1960s, a wildland fire ripped from Truckee nearly all the way to Reno before winds died and firefighters were able to stop it, said Don Lane, U.S. Forest Service recreation officer.
n On Nov. 2, 1984, a burn pile fueled by 70 mph winds started a 110-acre blaze within feet of Glenbrook homes. Rain and firefighters helped contain the fire the day after it broke out.
n On July 3, 2002, “carelessly disposed of smoking material” started a 670-acre fire between Heavenly Ski Resort and Kingsbury Grade.
“Every one always has the potential to become a wildland fire,” said Lane, who has worked for the Forest Service for more than 30 years. “It’s a mixture of luck and suppression. Tahoe is an enormously fragile place. The potential for a catastrophic fire is always there.”
— Gregory Crofton