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In The News – The reasons behind prescribed fire operations

January 6, 2024 | Member Submitted

Originally Published in KOLO 8 on 01/05/2023, Written by Jayde Ryan

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – Prescribed burns are resuming in North Lake Tahoe and they are a beneficial way to keep the forests healthy and reduce fires. 

Lake Tahoe’s forests are extremely vulnerable to wildfires. So, the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District tries to reduce that risk through two types of prescribed fires.

The first is pile burning, like what is happening this week. The second is “under story burning”, that is the burning of the forest floor as it is. Fire officials say one of the main reasons why prescribed fire is so important, is because it reduces the risk for major fires, like the 2007 Angora Fire.

”Suppressing all fire has got us in the situation now where a fire can get so big because we suppressed them in the past and that allows that vegetation to grow, and then it’s unmanageable for a few days, and we don’t want that,” says Chief Ryan Sommers. “We want to reintroduce fire into the elements and the environment to keep those fuels down and it’s also very good for forest health.”


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