Fire restrictions lifted in basin |

Fire restrictions lifted in basin

Fire restrictions in the Lake Tahoe Basin have been lifted, officials said.

The restrictions, put in place in August, banned cigarette smoking and open campfires on Lake Tahoe Basin’s National Forest Lands.

Changing weather conditions and the return of firefighters have allowed for a loosening of the ban, said Fire Management Officer Mark Johnson.

“The restrictions were put into effect last month because of the dry weather we were having and because of the drop in fire resources but those two conditions have changed,” Johnson said. “Last week, almost 2 inches of rain fell and we got all the fire engines back that went to Montana.”

Basin fire crews have added to the resources needed this summer to fight large-scale fires in areas of the west. Nevada was the crew’s first call. More recently the crews were sent to help battle blazes in Montana.

While much of the wsestern United States has faced a heavy fire season this year, Lake Tahoe Basin is on track for an average year. Johnson said during the summer and fall season the basin’s forests usually experience about 50 fires, mostly under an acre in size.

The restrictions were rescinded Thursday and outdoor enthusiasts can go back to having campfires in areas of the Lake Tahoe Basin that allow fires.

“Desolation Wilderness is always under fire restrictions,” Johnson added. “But in areas where fires are allowed, they still need to get a California Campfire Permit, even if they have a fire on the Nevada side of the basin.”

Fire permits can be obtained at the Forest Service Supervisor’s Office at 860 Emerald Bay Road in South Lake Tahoe or at the Visitor’s Center, just north of Camp Richardson on State Route 89.

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