Dangerous fire conditions in forecast for Lake Tahoe

Staff Report
A view of Lake Tahoe from Snow Valley Peak on the East Shore. (Provided /

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. — Thunderstorms have left the forecast, but conditions are ripe this week for wildfire.

The National Weather Service in Reno on Tuesday morning issued a fire weather watch for Lake Tahoe that goes into effect at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, and lasts through 10 p.m. due to high winds and low humidity.

The service said an incoming “trough” will bring an increase in winds to the region along with very dry air.

“Winds will start to pick up on Wednesday afternoon as the trough approaches the California coast,” the service said. “Winds will remain breezy along the higher terrain overnight with widespread gusty winds expected during the day on Thursday. This will create periods of critical fire weather conditions through a large portion of the Sierra and western Nevada.

The basin first has to get through two possible record-breaking days of heat on Tuesday and Wednesday. The service is forecasting high temperatures to reach into the upper 80s to low 90s.

A widespread haze from the Dixie Fire in northern California is still sending smoke south towards the basin.

Winds will begin to ramp up from 5-10 mph on Tuesday to 10-15 mph on Wednesday.

The service expects southwest winds to gust up to 35 mph, with higher gusts for wind prone areas and exposed terrain.

The humidity is expected to drop between 5-15% and with the combination of gusty winds, a spark could quickly grow in size before it could be contained.

Officials advise against any yard work or activities that could cause a spark, including target shooting, or campfires.

The high on Thursday is expected to dip into the low 80s with mid 80s expected for the rest of the week.

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