Arrest totals decrease this year |

Arrest totals decrease this year

Gregory Crofton

If the number of arrests is an indicator, South Shore had a very peaceful Fourth of July.

This year South Lake Tahoe police reported 19 arrests; last year they made 41. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at Stateline reported six arrests, compared with 21 last year.

Police Cmdr. George Brown attributed the decrease in arrests to the holiday landing on a Wednesday.

“We didn’t have the problems we would have had if it occurred on a weekend,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it was more peaceful because we made less arrests; the officers on the street were extremely busy.

“There were an awful lot of illegal fireworks being fired and that gave us all a great deal of concern,” he said.

Law enforcement made most of their arrests for driving under the influence, disorderly conduct, trespass, destruction of property, fireworks, minors consuming alcohol and domestic violence.

Douglas County sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Modispacher said banning alcohol eased problems at Nevada Beach.

“A couple of years ago, we made about 30 arrests on that one beach,” he said. “Now, if you bring an ice chest we get to look inside it, or you don’t bring it.”

Things also went smoothly for fire departments at South Shore. The biggest scare for the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department came when someone reported a structure fire behind Safeway. It turned out to be a barbecue.

“We’re pretty pleased with the whole thing,” said acting Capt. Rich Owens. “We had been having a series of brush fires during the week – the rain over the Fourth, it calmed things down.”

Tuesday evening, a lightning strike sparked a tree fire on the lake side of Heavenly Ski Resort. The small blaze was extinguished with a helicopter water drop, a hand crew from the U.S. Forest Service and a downpour that came along with the storm, Owens said.

The same weather system caused a wildland fire about a mile-and-a-half north of Andria Drive below the Tahoe Rim Trail.

“Even though the fire had visible flames it was not going anywhere,” said Tahoe-Douglas Fire Chief Tim Smith. “We stood by until the Forest Service arrived. Being as far off the road as it was, it required a hand crew.”

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