Some of Lake Tahoe’s largest campsites have banned campfires entirely for the remainder of the season, officials at California State Park in the Sierra District said.
Fire restrictions have been in place across the Tahoe Basin since June, with many fire-fighting districts banning solid wood and charcoal firing in homes. On red flag days, fire restrictions are increased so no burns of any kind are allowed.
The risk of fire is so great on these days that all types of open fires outdoors, including gas and propane grills, are prohibited.
Different guidelines apply at Forest Service campsites. A spokesman for the Forest Service’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit said campfires and charcoal grills have been banned on their campsites since June.
Given the extreme fire hazard and arid forest conditions in Lake Tahoe, California State Parks will now introduce red flag level fire restrictions on their campsites for the remainder of the camping season. That means no campfires in the metal fire pits.
“Today we imposed a campfire ban with a red flag and given the preponderance of problems, weather, staff and major fires in [the] Region, the results of extreme fire conditions. The campfire ban will go beyond warning, ”said Dan Canfield, superintendent of the Sierra District of California State Parks, in an email to SFGATE on Tuesday.
Canfield said the ban would last through December “unless there is a significant improvement in conditions”. The bonfire ban will affect all campsites in the Sierra District, including Sugar Pine Point and DL Bliss state parks on Tahoe’s west bank and Donner Memorial State Park in Truckee.
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