Burn Ban Takes Effect in Tahoe Donner
The Tahoe Donner Board of Directors implemented a temporary ban on all outdoor wood and charcoal fires.
Wildfires are burning throughout California, and the Tahoe Donner community near Truckee is taking steps to prevent them in that area. The Tahoe Donner Board of Directors implemented a temporary ban on all outdoor wood and charcoal fires.
"With red flag warning conditions last weekend, and again this weekend already implemented, we see this as really a proactive step to help protect this community," Robb Etnyre, General Manager of the Tahoe Donner Association said.
Tahoe Donner stretches about five miles north of Interstate 80, near Truckee. 6,500 homes are scattered throughout the 7,000-acre property. Etnyre says it was the homeowners who pushed for the fire restrictions.
"This was really important to our community as we look at the changing fire conditions that are happening throughout California, particularly up here in the Sierras," Etnyre said.
The burn ban means people cannot cook on charcoal grills or have campfires. That includes established areas like the Tahoe Donner Campground, which has permanent fire pits and grills. Miche and Bill Evans are spending the summer at the campground and they don't mind the restrictions.
"I play the guitar, so I Iike to have a campfire and sit around and sing but you know, I'll gladly give up campfires until everything is go, in terms of safety," Miche Evans said.
Tahoe Donner has 25,000 members. Along with the burn ban, they are also encouraged to use caution with gasoline-powered tools like lawn mowers and weed trimmers that can spark fires. Parking on dry grassy areas can also spark fires. Even gas grills and fire pits should be used with care.
"We're reminding them that even with a gas fire pit in the back yard, there's an eighth-inch mesh that's got to be on top of those fire pits," Etnyre said.
The burn ban will likely stay in effect until the fall, when there is cooler weather and possibly more precipitation. With plenty of summer left, campers say the restrictions are important.
"I think it's outstanding," John Palmer, camper from Sacramento said. "We need to stop this spread of forest fires."
"I think it's a good move," Evans said. "I really do because just a spark can ignite this entire area and I don't want to see that."
Along with fire restrictions, Etnyre says the community takes defensible space very seriously to keep homes safer in the event that a wildfire did come through Tahoe Donner.
"We manage our forests very defensively for fire safety and we also ask our homeowners to do the same thing here on a very aggressive basis," Etnyre said.
People who are caught using wood or charcoal fires will be fined.