Basin fire chiefs to discuss air quality |

Basin fire chiefs to discuss air quality

When chiefs from every fire agency in the Lake Tahoe Basin meet at the North Shore next week, air quality in the region is among a wide range of subjects on the agenda.

The California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission meetings are set for Monday and Tuesday at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Science on the campus of Sierra Nevada College. Each day the meetings get started at 9 a.m., are open to the public, and have time set aside for public comment. Monday’s public comment time is slated for 2:45 p.m., and Tuesday’s isn’t specified in the agenda but is scheduled before the day’s lunch break.

Importantly among those issues to be discussed, said North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, is going to be a report from the Wildland Fuels Committee on the basin’s air quality.

“I think there will be quite a discussion of how we manage smoke in the basin, especially on the California side,” Brown, who sits on the committee, said. “Mostly we want to incorporate chiefs on both sides of the lake to make sure we’re being sensitive to any air quality issues produced by prescribed burns.”

Brown said some of the issues the committee will present include what days constitute good burn days and how to stagger those days between the various basin agencies so they aren’t all burning at once.

“And, if two of us do need to burn at the same time, we need to make sure it’s on a day when the smoke can blow up and out of the basin so it doesn’t affect anybody,” Brown said.

An agenda for Monday’s meeting lists reports from the Wildland Fuels Committee and Community Fire Safety among reports from various working groups in the commission as items for the day. On Tuesday, the Wildland Fuels Committee is expected to discuss vegetation management in the Lake Tahoe basin.

The commission is expected to adjourn at 5 p.m. both days.

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