News briefs: Lake Valley fire chief retires, fire-awareness ‘Red Flag’ program, free weatherization program and more |

News briefs: Lake Valley fire chief retires, fire-awareness ‘Red Flag’ program, free weatherization program and more

Chief Gareth Harris
Courtesy Photo |


According to a recent news release, “The Board of Directors of the Lake Valley Fire Protection District and the Executive Board of the Lake Valley Firefighters Association hereby acknowledge our respect and gratitude to Chief Gareth Harris. Chief Harris has served the district and our community with integrity, dedication and commitment for the last 11 years. He has been the lead arson investigator and incident commander in numerous fire and medical incidents in our community.

“At the district, Chief Harris raised the standards of professionalism for our firefighters and implemented a career development program that will lead Lake Valley into the future. He also developed a strategic plan and kept the district within budget with no decrease in staff levels during difficult financial times. His efforts led to an ISO Rating of 2 within our community, which directly relates to lower fire insurance costs for businesses and homeowners. Chief Harris was responsible for obtaining numerous grants, most notably for the fire and fuels crew.

“Chief Harris served this community with integrity and pride. His vast knowledge and experience will be a great loss to the district and our community. We wish him the best in his retirement and any future endeavors.”


“May the odds be ever in your favor,” a breast-cancer research fundraiser, is planned for Monday, June 27, from 5:30-9 p.m. at 121 Holly Lane in Lake Village.

All proceeds will benefit, a research and support group. The minimum donation is $10 per person; cash and checks will be accepted.

This is an outdoor event — bring a beach chair and BYOB. Finger food and desserts will be provided. Live music by Ike and Martin is planned.

Learn more by emailing


Nancy Dalton, Chair of the Mathematics Department at South Tahoe High School, has announced her intention to run as a candidate in the 4th district for the Lake Tahoe Community College – Board of Trustees.

Dalton is a longtime resident of South Lake Tahoe. In addition to her professional career with Lake Tahoe Unified School District, she and her husband, John Dalton, have successfully owned and operated a local construction business, John P. Dalton Construction, since 1987. They are proud to have raised three children, all of whom attended the public education system and have since graduated from four-year institutions.

For more information on Nancy Dalton’s campaign, contact her at


El Dorado County residents can keep their homes cooler this summer and warmer next winter by taking advantage of free weatherization services through the El Dorado County Community Services Weatherization Program.

“The average household can save $400 or more each year on their energy bills after weatherization, depending on the work that is done,” said Kyle Hartman, weatherization supervisor with Community Services.

Qualified low-income property owners and renters can receive various energy improvement services through the program.

Weatherization auditors check the home to see where improvements can be made. Services are customized for each home and designed for maximum cost savings.

“We may be able to provide shade screens, fix broken glass, install ceiling fans and insulation in attics, repair or replace water heaters, and repair or replace heating units and air conditioners,” Hartman said.

The Weatherization Program is available countywide. Households must meet eligibility guidelines and income requirements. For information about the program, call 530-573-3490 in South Lake Tahoe or visit


South Tahoe Fire Rescue (STFR) is implementing the “Red Flag” program for a third year to help inform and educate citizens on when weather adds to existing fire danger. Fire crews monitor the weather service and when the weather reaches a red flag warning, STFR will implement the following procedures:

STFR will raise a red flag at each fire station to inform the public.

STFR will add extra personnel to staff a Type 3 (brush) engine for an aggressive fire attack. The staffed engine will have a Red Flag banner to help alert the community. The banner will say “Red Flag Day – Critical Fire Weather.”

When citizens see these indicators of the additional fire danger within the community they should be especially mindful of the following:

Avoid outdoor burning, such as campfires or any other open flame. Even grilling is not advised when Red Flag Days exist;

Dispose of cigarettes and other smoking materials into fire-safe containers. Tossing smoldering cigarettes onto the ground should be avoided;

Properly store flammable materials such as gasoline, alcohol, paint, lighters and matches. These materials may reach their critical points during hot weather and can possibly result in fire;

Be extremely careful when using and fueling chainsaws, lawn mowers, weed eaters and other lawn care equipment. High heat conditions make ignition of the fuel vapors more likely. Find shade if possible and allow the machinery to cool if it has been running. Also avoid welding in dangerously dry conditions, as the sparks can easily ignite the dry vegetation around you;

Be careful where you park your vehicles. The hot underside of a car or truck filled with gasoline parked over dead grass or leaves is an explosion waiting to happen. Be sure to park on concrete or solid dirt or gravel, especially during Red Flag Days. Do not park where vegetation touches the vehicle.

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