Forest Service offers safety tips for July 4th at Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Forest Service offers safety tips for July 4th at Lake Tahoe

Special to the Tribune
Fourth of July is the busiest time of year at Lake Tahoe.
Tahoe Daily Tribune

The Fourth of July holiday period is upon us and signifies the busiest time of year in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) asks residents and visitors to share in the stewardship of their public lands, and to keep the following tips in mind to help everyone enjoy a safe and fun holiday.

To promote public safety, an alcohol ban will be in effect at the following locations:

Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals (former “Dreyfus Estate”) on July 4, from 6 a.m. until midnight.

Chamber’s Landing Beach from July 1-6.

The alcohol ban forest order and maps will be posted at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/ForestOrders. To ensure compliance, these areas will be patrolled by law enforcement personnel from the Forest Service, state and local law enforcement, and private security staff.

Wildfires happen — is your community prepared?

Wildfire prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Please keep in mind fireworks of any kind, including firecrackers and sparklers, are illegal in the Tahoe Basin.

Campfires and charcoal fires are only allowed in metal fire rings or stand-up grills provided at developed recreation sites, such as Fallen Leaf and Nevada Beach campgrounds. Campfires, bonfires and portable charcoal grills are not permitted on National Forest beaches, in Desolation Wilderness, Meiss Country, along Genoa Peak Road and the Tahoe Rim Trail, or in any existing rock fire rings.

Portable propane/pressurized gas stoves are allowed in all areas with a free, valid California Campfire Permit, available online at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/. For information about preparing your family, home and neighborhood for the next wildfire, visit tahoe.livingwithfire.info.

Pack your patience!

Expect extremely crowded conditions on local roads, highways, parking lots and restrooms. Because of the Tahoe Basin’s high elevation, expect intense sunlight during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Bring a hat, sunscreen, jacket and carry a flashlight. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. If planning to camp overnight, be sure to make reservations in advance at http://www.recreation.gov or http://www.reserveamerica.com/.

Due to the influx of visitors, mobile device networks may be overwhelmed and mobile phones and other devices may not work in some areas. Develop an alternate plan to contact family and friends and develop an emergency plan in case you need and cannot call for help.

Thanks to a large snowpack and high lake level, expect Lake Tahoe beaches to be much narrower than in previous years. Some beaches with vegetation or rocky shoreline may be inaccessible. Be courteous to others, arrive early and use this opportunity to explore new areas.

Consider public transportation. Holiday traffic and road construction make for extremely crowded roads and parking areas. Walk, carpool, or bicycle to avoid limited parking in crowded recreation areas, heavy traffic and delays after the firework displays. At developed recreation sites, such as Kiva, Tallac Historic Site, Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Echo Lakes and Angora Lake resorts parking is allowed only in designated parking spaces inside the parking lots, not along the roadway. When parking, do not block road access or narrow lanes, which could delay emergency vehicle response. Where parking on the side of the road is allowed, be careful to not park on vegetation as this can cause damage to the environment and can spark a wildfire.

Some beaches will have increased day use parking fees. Day-use parking fees for July 4 at Baldwin, Pope and Nevada beaches will be $30 and at Zephyr Cove Beach $40 to cover increased security and facility maintenance costs of the holiday.

Please respect the rules on where pets are allowed. Dogs are not allowed on National Forest designated swim beaches including Baldwin, Meeks Bay, Nevada, Pope and William Kent. Leashed pets are welcome at Kiva Picnic area (from the Valhalla Boathouse/Pier to Tallac Point) and Echo Lakes on the South Shore; Zephyr Shoals, Hidden and Chimney beaches on the East Shore; Coon Street Beach (at the boat launch) in King’s Beach; Kaspian and 64 Acres beaches in Tahoe City.

For more information on rules regarding pets, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/Dogs.

Pack it in, pack it out!

Be responsible for picking up and disposing of your trash in appropriate trash receptacles. If the trash can or dumpster is overflowing, don’t add to the problem, take your trash with you. Trash and debris left behind after festivities can be harmful and even fatal to wildlife. It represents a human health hazard, and degrades Lake Tahoe.

Trash cans will become full, so plan ahead and keep in mind staff will be handing out trash bags at many of our recreation sites. Please use them and become part of the solution by packing out your own garbage.

Sadly, every year volunteers remove thousands of pounds of trash from our beautiful beaches after July 4. Consider volunteering for the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s Annual Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue Beach Clean-Ups from 8-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 5, to help clean-up sites all around Lake Tahoe. To volunteer and learn more, visit https://bit.ly/2Jdh4Px.

Check our social media for the latest updates. Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LakeTahoeUSFS/), Twitter (twitter.com/LakeTahoeUSFS) or visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/ltbmu or http://www.tahoepublicbeaches.org/ for the latest updates and information.

This story was provided by the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.