Fire Chief Message

Fire Chief Steve Leighton

Chief Schwartz

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 30-year veteran of the fire service.

Chief Schwartz

April 2024 Update

The main highlight of March weather wise was the blizzard that continued to bring heavy Sierra snowfall, strong winds and major travel impacts the first three days of the month. This blizzard hit the Tahoe region the hardest, with multi-day snowfall total of 4-6 feet down around the lake level, and 5-8 feet for higher elevations along the Sierra crest and Carson Range. This storm with the high winds and heavy snow also affected as many as 24,000 customers who were without power in the Reno-Carson City and Tahoe areas. The Sierra snowpack finally surpassed season-to-date levels normal after this storm. Even though dry and warm conditions arrived for several days after the storm, it brought just enough snowfall to keep the eastern Sierra basins slightly above average for the season. The March storm rally capped off the slow start to the winter snowpack.

It is with great respect and admiration that I was able to send a memo to staff to celebrate the remarkable career of Battalion Chief Sarah Lagano, who has officially retired from the District on March 16, 2024, after 19 years of dedicated service to our department and community. Some additional successes of our members are as follows: Firefighter/Paramedics Austin Vickers and Michael Schoenborn have completed all requirements of Phase 3 TAP and will move to TAP 4. Firefighter/Paramedic Ashley Turnbeaugh is now qualified to Work Out of Class (WOC) as an Engineer. Provisional Battalion Chief Jaime Sheppard has been appointed permanently to the position. Engineer/Paramedic Dustin Hollingsworth has been promoted to Captain/Paramedic. And finally, Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Hansen has accepted the promotion to Engineer/Paramedic.
Congratulations to all of them for their commitment and dedication to service.

On the state legislative side, policy committees continue hearing and passing bills that will make their way to their respective Floor. Policy committees will need to hear all fiscal bills originating in their respective house before the April 26th deadline; non-fiscal bills will have an additional week to be heard in policy committees. Of note, is that the Governor’s 2024-25 Budget plans to start a shift to a 66-hour workweek for CAL FIRE firefighters, with initial funding of $199 million and 338 positions, expanding to $770 million and 2,457 positions by 2028-29. This follows a 2022 agreement aiming to improve firefighters’ health and welfare. And finally of interest is the Governor’s budget proposal seeking to codify the inclusion of charter schools in ERAF allocations, prompting opposition from CSDA and other local government stakeholders. They argue that this would violate Proposition 1A’s constitutional protections by reducing the share of property tax revenues allocated to local governments.

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 email me or call me at (530) 583-6911.


Steve Leighton, Fire Chief

North Tahoe Fire Protection District (NTFPD) was formed in 1993 with the consolidation of the Tahoe City Fire Department (Est. 1941) and North Tahoe Fire (Est. 1957).  NTFPD provides service via contract to the Meeks Bay Fire Protection District (2014), to the community of Alpine Meadows (2006), and provides ambulance transport for the community of Olympic Valley.