Forest Service announces enhanced fire restrictions at Lake Tahoe

US Forest Service

Public Affairs Specialist: Lisa Herron

(530) 721-3898

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., August 16, 2023 – In addition to year-round restricted areas, enhanced fire restrictions are now in effect on National Forest lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin and will remain in effect through the end of December 2023, or until rescinded. Enhanced fire restrictions mean wood and charcoal fires are now prohibited in Blackwood Canyon, Luther Pass and Watson Lake campgrounds. Portable stoves are allowed with a valid permit.

“Our number one priority in the Lake Tahoe Basin is to protect the health and well-being of our first responders, residents and visitors,” said Forest Supervisor, Erick Walker. “These enhanced fire restrictions are necessary due to the high fire danger associated with current dry fuel conditions and above average significant wildfire potential predicted for the rest of the season.”

Enhanced fire restrictions also apply to smoking, operating off-highway vehicles and welding. The following activities are restricted on National Forest lands in the Tahoe Basin:

  • Smoking is restricted to enclosed vehicles or areas at least three feet in diameter that are barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
  • Operating an internal combustion engine off paved, gravel, or dirt National Forest roads and trails, except within the Sand Pit Off-Highway Vehicle area and boats on a water surface.
  • Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame.

“Even though we are currently experiencing cooler temperatures with isolated rain and thunderstorms, this is the time of year when the Tahoe Basin can experience increased wildfire activity,” said Assistant Fire Management Officer, John Chester.

View the enhanced fire restrictions forest order. Learn more about Lake Tahoe fire restrictions.

Per 16 United State Code (U.S.C.) section 551 and 18 U.S.C. sections 3559, 3571, and 3581, a violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more the $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

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