Forest Service enacts enhanced fire restrictions for Tahoe

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Due to dry conditions, enhanced fire restrictions on forest service land began this week and will last through the fall at Lake Tahoe.

The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit on Tuesday said that wood and charcoal fires and other fire-related activities are prohibited on its lands in the Tahoe Basin, including developed campgrounds.

“Illegal campfires cause over 90% of the wildfires at Lake Tahoe and increased fire danger due to severe drought conditions and warm weather is a big concern this summer,” said a press release. “Enhanced fire restrictions will help reduce the possibility of human-caused fires.”

The following acts are prohibited within the LTBMU:

• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire, including charcoal briquettes and wood, on National Forest System lands.

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

• Operating an internal combustion engine off paved, gravel, or dirt National Forest System roads and trails, except within the Sand Pit Off-Highway Vehicle Area and boats on a water surface.

• Welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames.

In addition to those restrictions, possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework, including sparklers and firecrackers, and any other pyrotechnic device is always prohibited.

Those with a valid Wilderness Permit or a California Campfire Permit may use a portable campfire pit, lantern or stove that uses gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel, with a shut-off valve, in an area at least three feet from any flammable materials. California Campfire Permits are free and available online at

At the following National Forest beaches, campgrounds and resorts, portable gas appliances with a shut-off valve are permitted without a California Campfire Permit: Baldwin, Meeks Bay, Nevada, Pope and William Kent beaches; Fallen Leaf, Meeks Bay, Nevada and William Kent campgrounds; and Camp Richardson, Meeks Bay and Zephyr Cove resorts.

Violating the rules is punishable by fine up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

For more information on fire restrictions, visit

Information about private and state land fire restrictions, regulated by Cal Fire, is available at or from local fire districts.

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