Chief’s Corner: Lake Tahoe Wildfire Awareness Campaign

Steve Leighton
Chief's Corner

May has historically been a time to raise awareness about the risk of wildfires, and to help residents prepare for the upcoming fire season.

This year, the basin fire agencies are leveling up the region’s preparedness efforts by introducing the Lake Tahoe Wildfire Awareness Campaign, which will run from May through October with the theme: “Is your home ignition resistant?”

Steve Leighton

In 2020, California and Nevada experienced a record number of Red Flag days along with another record-setting, devastating fire season. This year, agencies are working with communities to stay prepared all season by asking residents and visitors to take responsibility when living and recreating in high fire-hazard areas.

By taking action now and throughout the season, we can save precious time in the event of an evacuation by preparing a go-bag and family evacuation plan early. To help Lake Tahoe survive a wildfire, residents must manage the vegetation around their homes, and practice home maintenance in order for homes to resist ignition.

Wildfire is a threat that significantly impacts Lake Tahoe’s environmental, economic and social well-being. We are here to help residents and visitors prepare Lake Tahoe communities to survive wildfire by becoming fire adapted. All of our personnel are very proud to serve, and are committed to ensure the safety of our community.”

Virtual workshops are planned throughout the season to share important information on fire resistant landscaping, fire and weather, prevention efforts being undertaken by power companies, understanding the impacts of smoke and fire, ways to harden homes to embers, after-the-fire recovery efforts, and the benefits of prescribed fires.

For information about upcoming events to help prepare for wildfire or to locate your local fire district, visit

Steve Leighton is the new fire chief of the North Tahoe Fire and Meeks Bay Fire Protection Districts, serving the north and west shores of Lake Tahoe, and the communities in Alpine Meadows. Chief Leighton is a 29-year veteran of the fire service was named to his new position on April 27 to replace retiring Chief Mike Schwartz.

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