Forest Service: Tips for a safe Labor Day weekend at Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Forest Service: Tips for a safe Labor Day weekend at Lake Tahoe

U.S. Forest Service

An abandoned campfire was determined to be the cause of the Elbert Fire near Elbert Lake in Meiss Country in early August. Hot embers were buried under the small rock pile, which allowed embers to creep out from under the rocks and ignite the dry vegetation and trees in the area.

Heading to Lake Tahoe this Labor Day weekend to celebrate the unofficial end of summer? Below are some tips and important information for residents and visitors to keep in mind for a safe and fun-filled holiday weekend.

Fire restrictions are in effect on National Forest lands in the Tahoe Basin. Campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds with an onsite host, such as Fallen Leaf and Nevada Beach campgrounds. During restrictions, campfires are not allowed at Blackwood Canyon, Luther Pass and Watson Lake campgrounds.

Portable gas stoves are allowed in all areas with a valid California Campfire Permit available at Forest Service offices in South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and the Taylor Creek Visitor Center or online at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/.

For a complete list of where campfires are allowed visit the Forest Service website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/ltbmu. In addition, please remember that personal use fireworks and sky lanterns are illegal because of the fire danger they pose to our communities and forests.

Forest Service rangers have reported increased bear activity at Bayview Trailhead and in Desolation Wilderness and Meiss Country. Bear canisters are recommended in the back country and be sure to remove all food, garbage and scented items from your car before heading out.

Expect crowded conditions on local roads, highways and parking lots. Because of the basin's high elevation, expect intense sunlight during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Don't forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

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If planning to camp overnight, be sure to make reservations ahead of time 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 have an emergency plan in place in case you cannot call for help.

Expect Lake Tahoe beaches to be much narrower than in previous years, some beaches with vegetation or rocky shoreline may be inaccessible. Arrive early to beat the crowds and use this opportunity to explore new areas.

Consider public transportation as 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.

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.

Please respect the rules on where dogs are allowed. Dogs are not allowed on National Forest designated swim beaches including Nevada, Pope, Baldwin, Meeks Bay, and William Kent. For information on where dogs are allowed, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/Dogs.

Last but not least, please remember to pack out all garbage and Leave No Trace on your public lands! Carry extra trash bags in case trash cans and dumpsters are full. Do not leave trash outside of the receptacle, take it with you!

Learn more about Leave No Trace principles at lnt.org, http://www.facebook.com/LeaveNoTraceCenter/or twitter.com/leavenotrace.

The Forest Service office in South Lake Tahoe is closed on Monday, September 3, 2018, in observance of Labor Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, September 4.

More information on staying safe when visiting your National Forest is available athttp://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go.

For the latest information and updates, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LakeTahoeUSFS/and Twitter at twitter.com/LakeTahoeUSFS.

Stay safe out there and have a wonderful Labor Day!