LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KTXL) — Fire officials announced in a press release Monday that they will continue to conduct widespread prescribed fire operations this week around the Lake Tahoe Basin. 

Prescribed fire operations, also known as controlled burns, are used to keep forest ecosystems healthy.

According to a map, the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) — which is made up of professionals from local and state agencies — will conduct the prescribed fires in seven locations, with one being done on the Nevada side of the lake. 

The operations have taken place throughout the winter due to the season’s ideal conditions and cooler temperatures. The TFFT said the prescribed fires help land managers reduce hazardous fuels that can feed unwanted wildfires.

Smoke will be present in each project but that’s a normal occurrence during these types of fire operations, according to the TFFT. 

The smoke can last for several days after the fires are ignited, depending on size, conditions and weather. Smoke from the prescribed fires is normally less intense and has a shorter duration than smoke from wildfires, TFFT said. 

Map of the projected proscribed fires, courtesy of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team.

Here are the TFFT’s projected locations for the prescribed fires: 

  • Angora Ridge Road near South Lake Tahoe.
  • Luther Pass/Highway 89.
  • Taylor Creek.
  • General Creek Campground.
  • Tahoe City (near Dollar Creek).
  • Stateline (near Bijou Creek).
  • Near Bitterbrush Condos along Ski Way, across from Diamond Peak Ski Resort (Incline Village, Nevada).

The TFFT said it will give as much advance notice as possible to those communities before the operations, but they may be conducted on short notice due to a “small window of opportunity.” 

The map also includes details about each prescribed fire, including the project name, responsible agency, burn type, location, duration of ignition and smoke, estimated direction of smoke, and sensitive community areas. 

According to the TFFT, each operation will follow a specialized burn plan, which considers a variety of weather factors such as temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of vegetation and conditions for dispersal of smoke. The TFFT said all of the information gathered from those factors are used to decide when and where to burn. 

Before burning, the TFFT said its agencies post signs on roadways in areas affected by the prescribed fire operations. 

The prescribed fire operations come seven months after the Caldor Fire erupted, which burned and destroyed homes in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine countries. The wildland fire was 100% contained in October after it threatened the Lake Tahoe resort region last summer. 

After 70 days, the Caldor Fire burned more than 221,000 acres and destroyed more than 780 structures.