Celebrate July 4 with safety in mind
July 3, 2009
The tens of thousands of revelers expected to descend upon the Lake Tahoe Basin for the Fourth of July holiday this weekend have inspired a flurry of reminders, warnings and recommendations from Lake Tahoe Basin agencies this week.
The primary reminder is that possession of fireworks of any kind is illegal in the basin.
Most fireworks violations are misdemeanors, punishable by a minimum $500 fine and/or a year in the county jail, according to a statement from South Lake Tahoe Police.
In Douglas County, people found in violation of the fireworks ordinance face fines of up to $1,000 and/or confinement in the county jail for up to six months, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.
Other reminders and recommendations issued this week:
– The California Highway Patrol will convene a Rapid Apprehension of Impaired Drivers task force today. The task force will include about 20 officers from South Lake Tahoe, Placerville, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento, with the primary goal of removing impaired drivers from the streets of South Lake Tahoe.
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The entire weekend is a maximum enforcement period for the CHP, meaning all available officers will be on patrol, according to a statement from the CHP.
– As usual for the Fourth of July, an alcohol ban will be in effect on Nevada Beach, at Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals, according to a statement from the Forest Service. The possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages at Nevada Beach is punishable by a fine up to $1,000, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
– Day-use fees for the Fourth of July at Pope, Baldwin and Nevada beaches will again be $20 this year to cover increased security and facility maintenance costs, according to the Forest Service.
– Heavy congestion in the areas of Nevada Beach, Round Hill, Zephyr Cove, lower Kingsbury Grade and the casino core are expected. Lower Lake Parkway may be closed to ingress traffic after the fireworks display if the volume of traffic dictates the need for such a closure. Motorists are cautioned to anticipate delays while traveling in these areas, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
– Campfires and charcoal barbecue grills are not permitted on Forest Service beaches or in the general forest, according to a statement from the Forest Service.
– Dogs are not allowed at Nevada, Pope, Baldwin, Meeks and William Kent beaches. Those who are looking for a place to take their dogs are advised to try the area from Valhalla Pier to where the Lake of the Sky Trail meets the lakefront in South Lake Tahoe (leashed only), Echo Lakes, North Beach at Zephyr Cove Resort, Hidden and Chimney beaches on the East Shore, according to the Forest Service.
– Resist the urge to take your pets to fireworks displays. Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly.
If you know your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before the Fourth of July on ways to alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety during the Fourth. Don’t leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain, according to a public service advisory from El Dorado County.
With the Fourth of July falling on a Saturday this year, several area offices will be closed for the holiday today. Facilities that will be closed Friday include Kahle Community Center, city offices at the Lake Tahoe Airport, the Lake Tahoe Community College Library, El Dorado County Offices and the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
Area pharmacies including Longs Drugs, Raley’s Drug Center and Tahoe Valley Pharmacy will remain open today.
Area banks will also remain open on Friday, including Bank of the West, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and El Dorado Savings Bank. Check with your local branch for further information.