Rain dampens fire danger | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Rain dampens fire danger

by Timothy Bowman

Dark skies are a welcome sight in the Tahoe Basin.

In what is shaping up to be one of the worst fire seasons in the history of the Tahoe Basin, the recent spell of precipitation is helping to curb the fire threat, if only for a little while.

“We think it might possibly lessen (the fire danger) for two or three days, but we don’t anticipate it having any major impact.” said Linda Massey of the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

The Oasis Aviation reported .3 inches of rain falling at the Lake Tahoe Airport on Tuesday and Wednesday. Danny Mercer, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno said that number can be misleading because the precipitation came with thunderstorms which tend to drop precipitation more locally than other types of storms.

“With thunderstorms it can be localized,” Mercer said. “In the summer time that is certainly possible.”

Mercer said the current weather pattern could continue until the middle of next week with the best chance of heavy rain falling this weekend.

“Really it looks like moisture will return on Friday and go into Wednesday of next week, mostly during the afternoon and evening,” Mercer said. “I would say Saturday looks like our best threat for thunderstorms.”

Lightning strikes from this week’s thunderstorms triggered about a dozen fires across Western Nevada. Massey said the Forest Service will be on the look-out for lightning induced fires as long as the thunderstorms persist.

“We certainly will be keeping a very close watch on all the lands we are responsible for managing,” Massey said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.