The Eldorado national Forest has started fire restrictions as of July 14th.
The Tahoe National Forest has not yet posted restrictions but last year it was the 25th, the year before the 11th. Check the TNF website before you go. It is the users responsibility to know what restrictions are in effect.
Fire Permits are free from any forest office or even online.
FYI, the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit does not have fire restrictions by date. No fires are allowed outside official Forest Service fire pits and then only in official Forest Service campsites.
Don’t be that person!
So, yesterday (11/9/16) was a busy day.
I had a 30 minute meeting at 10am with the LTBMU to discuss updates to the new map for the staging area. I got out of that 30 minute meeting at 10:50am. Just enough time to make my 11am meeting with the new Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership.
Short story there, this is yet another group formed to ‘restore’ a part of our forest. I’m not yet sure who is funding this effort or why this section of forest was picked. But, Amy Granat of CORVA asked me to be a part of this discussion due to my local OHV knowledge. In order to get an interview with the group, I had to be ‘officially’ affiliated with some recognized group. So, CORVA made me a ‘Field Representative’:
While in the meeting with Lake Tahoe West, the LTBMU texted me to ask if I had time to meet at the Rubicon staging area to discuss ‘things’. Instead of driving over 50 and up 395 to get home, I went back up 89 to the staging area.
On the drive north, I took a few pictures of the recent Emerald Bay Fire. This is just south of Emerald Bay. The first shot is looking south. You can see the open areas near Camp Richardson in the background.
The Forest Service crews were out in strength dropping trees at the edge of the highway, putting down ground cloth and booms to prevent the coming storms from washing off the topsoil and then spraying with that green compound that promotes new growth.
At the staging area, Mike, Jacob and I discussed the sign, the surface of the parking area, signs, overflow parking, etc.
Then Mike said he wanted to see Miller Lake and the turn to the Richardson Trail. Now you must take in to account what I’m driving. It’s my daily driver, a 2012 Chevy Colorado. Now it has the Z-71 package and a 2.5″ lift and 33″ tires. A vehicle quite capable of doing most of the trails in the area, but yesterday, it also had a small load of firewood in the bed and two kayaks strapped to the top.
Up the trail we went. Then Mike asked Jacob if he wanted drive the loop and go out Blackwood Canyon. The Forest Service was driving a stock Ford Ranger, no lift. There were a few puddles that had already lapped at the door of the Ranger. I couldn’t let them drive the loop alone, so with kayaks and firewood in tow, we headed to Barker Pass.
At least I had my winter stuff in the truck: shovel, come-along, tow straps, etc.
Mike was riding with me so I could bend his ear on anything that came to mind. He glanced over and asked if we had enough fuel to make it out. I explained that I normally top off my tank before venturing off-road but I didn’t have that expectation today. I said we’d be fine, but was a little worried when the ‘low fuel’ light came on.
That situation was a great opportunity to discuss the new “No Outlet Nov 6th – June 16th” sign to prevent people from getting stuck at a gate on their way out Blackwood Canyon and not being able to turn around and drive all the way back out to the Rubicon staging area be it fuel, vehicle damage, darkness, injury, etc.
We finished our day at the Middle Fork staging area discussing signage.
I ended up putting 17.4 gallons of fuel in my 19.5 gallon tank. We had plenty, but it was a long day as I didn’t get home until 5:20pm.
The last of the trio of Rubicon forests has lifted fire restrictions. The ENF lifted restrictions as of 10-8-14.
Starting 9-30-14, the Tahoe National Forest has lifted fire restrictions for the season.
Starting 10-3-14, the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has lifted fire restrictions for the season.
Although I feel this is too early, fires are now allowed with the proper fire permit. Please take the time to make sure the fire is completely out. This means OUT, not just no flames. The fire pit should be cold enough to run your hands through the coals. I usually pour two five gallon buckets of water on the coals and stir as I go.
Several unattended fires have been reported over the past summer along the Rubicon. Luckily, none of them turn in to major wild fires. The only major fire was arson. We did have a few lighting started fires. The one instance I heard of where a camp fire became a wild fire was in Desolation Wilderness, and you know that wasn’t the fault of a wheeler.
Please be safe and help protect our forests.
A week late, but I finally got around to posting it…
On June 26th, 2014, the LTBMU implemented fire restrictions.
Permits are required for propane stoves.
The details are linked on the “Conditions” page under fire restrictions.