A MESSAGE FROM THE FIRE CHIEF STEVE LEIGHTON
Steve Leighton is the Fire Chief of the North Tahoe Fire and Meeks Bay Fire Protection Districts, serving the north and west shores of Lake Tahoe, and the communities in Alpine Meadows. Chief Leighton is a 29-year veteran of the fire service.
All members of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District are here to serve you every hour of every day. If you have any questions regarding the District or the services we provide, please do not hesitate to call me at (530) 584-2318 or email me.
The North Tahoe Fire Protection District would like to thank you for visiting our website. I also suggest you follow us on Facebook or Twitter and, during times of critical incidents within the District, tune into our very own local broadcast radio network Channel 1630 on your AM dial! You can also listen to our live radio traffic at www.broadcastify.com.
It is with great pleasure that I open my first official report as Fire Chief by sharing the successes of our personnel. Captain Naman Beatie has met the requirements to work out of class as a Battalion Chief and is now working through the task book as guidance in the progression of working in the role while preparing for a promotional exam. Engineer/Paramedic Dave Telfer has accepted a temporary appointment as Captain and Firefighter/Paramedic Brent Wible has accepted a temporary appointment as Engineer.
It's only May and the United States Drought Monitor has placed the Sierra Nevada Range in Severe Drought, and the California Department of Water Resources marked 2021 the third-driest water year on record. The CALFIRE Amador/Eldorado unit began requiring burn permits for dooryard burning on May 1, and by May 10, they suspended burn permits. They did this citing the drought and the nearly 1,800 fires burning over 13,600 acres that have occurred since January 1, 2021. This is in comparison to the 1,800 acres that had burned this same time last year. The CALFIRE Nevada/Yuba/Placer unit has made a declaration of fire season beginning today (May 17) with a burn suspension date of May 24. All forecasts predict a busy fire season for the upper elevations as we enter this cycle of drought. The first Fire Weather Watch of the season was already declared in Mono County on April 13. As the season progresses, we will be sending out Red Flag/Critical Fire Weather Warnings via email, social media, media releases and via emergency notification through the Nextdoor application. Something new this year from the National Weather Service will be what is considered a Particularly Dangerous Situation Red Flag Warning (PSD). These will be issued for the worst of the worst days where conditions exist consisting of unusually high winds combined with low humidity and extreme dryness in fuels. On these days our social media messaging will be even more crucial. We have recently begun to receive requests to speak at annual HOA meetings regarding fire safety. These meetings are a valuable opportunity for us to meet with residents. Due to the pandemic and the dynamics with the guidance from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), we are asking groups to please include a virtual component to the meetings to ensure the opportunity for us to participate. PIO Holland will be handling the requests and they can be submitted online.