Governors, senator at South Lake Tahoe Tuesday for fire commission report |

Governors, senator at South Lake Tahoe Tuesday for fire commission report

Jeff Munson

Eleven months after the worst and costliest forest fire in modern Lake Tahoe history, the governors of California and Nevada and a U.S. senator will receive a final report from a comission they established after June’s Angora fire.

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be joined by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to receive the California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission final report and will thank the commission members for their efforts.

The event will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Lake Valley Fire Protection District – Fire Station #7, 2211 Keetak Street in South Lake Tahoe.

In March the commission ” which met monthly since August ” unanimously agreed on at least 70 recommendations, including asking the Bush administration to declare a state of emergency for the Lake Tahoe Basin. The emergency move would allow for federal funding to prevent future catastrophic wildfire. The cost of a five-year emergency plan has been estimated at $7.8 million.

At the March final meeting of the commission, members expressed both agreement and disagreement on a number of items in the 192-page document but were unified in the final recommendations to Schwarzenegger and Jim Gibbons.

Among the recommendations in the plan, the document addresses a reprioritization of forestry practices in the Lake Tahoe Basin and the means to pay for them.

The recommendations include changes in several policies on the books when it comes to the management of dead and dying timber, the removal of trees, otherwise known as thinning, and how to attack a forest fire once it starts.

As witnessed by the Angora fire, which burned 3,072 acres, destroyed 254 homes and caused $140 million in property damage, the commission states that there is a clear and imminent threat of wildfire in the Lake Tahoe Basin, and with that is an urgent need to streamline policies that often conflict with one another.

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