South Lake Tahoe Fire Department enacts Red Flag program
Special to the Tribune
The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department (SLTFD) implemented the “Red Flag” program for a second year to help inform and educate citizens about when the weather adds to existing fire danger. The fire season could be catastrophic with drought conditions. Fire Crews will monitor the weather service and when the weather reaches a red flag warning the following procedures will be implemented: SLTFD will raise a red flag at each fire station to inform the public and will add extra personnel to staff a Type 3 (Brush) engine for an aggressive fire attack. The personnel assigned to the engine will patrol the highest fire danger areas. The staffed engine will have a red flag banner to help alert the community. The banner will read “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 campfires, or any other open flame. Even grilling is not advised. Dispose of cigarettes and other smoking materials into fire safe containers. Properly store flammable materials such as gasoline, alcohol, paint, lighter and matches. These materials may reach their critical points during hot weather. 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. Be careful when parking 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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