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South Lake Tahoe Fire: Are You Ok?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm watching this tremendous fire at South Lake Tahoe that has consumed 200+ houses.......I hope anybody out there is ok....Cirquerider grab the wine and run!

Here's a link:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070625/D8Q012F00.html
post #2 of 17
I lived in that area for 25+ years, & know it very well. The USFS has been clearing dead wood out of that forest for years. Sadly, it was a disaster waiting to happen. I've known quite a few people who live on or near that ridge. The news report sounds like no one has been injured, but the loss has been great. The High School borders a much more populated area. I hope they can get it under control before it spreads further!

My condolences to everyone who has suffered any loss.
Very sad...

JF
post #3 of 17
I am fortunate to live in an area that doesn't see fires of this magnitude.
I can't imagine knowing the intensity of this disaster.
Hope the Bears out there are all safe and sound.
post #4 of 17
I was watching it on the Today show this morning, and when they zoomed in on the map (looked like Google earth) you could see the trails cut in what I think was Heavenly. Does anyone know how close the fire is to the resort?
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ullr View Post
Does anyone know how close the fire is to the resort?
I'd guess about 10 miles as the crow flies. Heavenly is on the other end of town though, & most of the city of South Lake Tahoe would burn before it got to the resort.
JF
post #6 of 17
The fuel loading in most of the forests around Tahoe is very high as a result of many factors. It is impossible to do prescribed control burns without prior mechanical removal, and environmentalist do not want to allow mechanical removals, or construction of roads to facilitate that. There is only one lumber / forest company left in the region (Sierra Pacific Industries), and the only viable way to finance forest rehabilitation other than public funds, is by exchanging commercial timber for cleanup. Private forest lands are generally in much better condition than public land. With TRPA regulations that prohibit taking out any tree with a diameter larger than 6-inches, its really tough to clear fire-safe perimeter. Hopefully some of that changes.

Meanwhile, this is almost a worst-case scenario with the loss of so many homes. The area burned is closer to Meyers, and is mainly older residences, vacation and rental homes. Our thoughts are with the 2000 people evacuated from their homes tonight. Hopefully some of the permit fees, environmental reviews and red tape will be cut to allow them to fairly quickly rebuild. This part of the basin will not look the same in our lifetime.
post #7 of 17
There's an intensive thread about it on TGR with actual infos.

It appears as if some maggots over there have lost their homes.

I toured exactly in the burning area (Angora Lakes and chutes) a year ago with a local friend, luckily his house doesn't seem to be in immediate danger despite the fire being just 1000-1500 ft away by now. It's hard to imagine a lot of the woods are gone now.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post
There's an intensive thread about it on TGR with actual infos.

It appears as if some maggots over there have lost their homes.

I toured exactly in the burning area (Angora Lakes and chutes) a year ago with a local friend, luckily his house doesn't seem to be in immediate danger despite the fire being just 1000-1500 ft away by now. It's hard to imagine a lot of the woods are gone now.
Oh no!

Is there anything we can do to help them?
I'll go over there and look now.
Thanks for telling us PowHog
post #9 of 17
Link here on TGR

My heart goes out to these people. I will try to follow the happenings and post here if there is some kind of support effort.
I just can't imagine what they are going through
post #10 of 17
My condolences as well. It's not something you'd wish to go through. Hopefully there will not also be flooding and mudslide issues as well later.

FWIW, it's the 5 year anniversary of the Missionary Ridge fire here that consumed 56 homes, 27 outbuildings and 73,000 acres after a low snow year and continual drought. Plus a 'smaller' Valley Fire consumed about a dozen homes. Everything was crunchy dry, hot and scary for the month leading up to the start of the fire. (I was concerned even a spark from a chain ring hitting a rock and starting a fire was a real possibility.) There were also several other Colorado Wildfires and at least one huge one in Arizona just prior that year.

Be careful in dry areas. Even a seemingly innocent act like driving or parking a vehicle with a hot catalytic converter on dry grasses or leaves can wreak havoc. I hope this isn't just the beginning of another devastating fire season. Here's some Evacuation Procedures & FAQs.
post #11 of 17
It's a scary thing. We've narrowly escaped a few wildfires and the speed they travel just can't be imagined.
post #12 of 17
Just got off the phone with friends in Tahoe. The fire is raging again, looks like my house there is doomed... They said the news just showed a bunch of firefighters turning down my street.
bummer, but keeping my fingers crossed.
:
JF
post #13 of 17
I've been reading about this off and on all day. I am so sorry for all the loss being suffered by those out there.
It seems that they thought the fire was getting under control and then the winds picked up, allowing the fire to take off again.
post #14 of 17
My condolences to all affected.
post #15 of 17
Thanks to favorable weather conditions the fire is contained, if not out. We are expecting high temperatures later in the week. The fire destroyed 254 homes and it will be a long time until things are all put back together.

The new controversy is whether to allow salvage logging of all the dead standing timber. The two sides to that argument are currently busy throwing around mis-information. Personally, I like to see the timber salvaged, and the area replanted. Depending on natural re-growth seems to work better when the fire is less intense. These super-fires seal off the ground and incinerate the cones and seeds that a low-intensity fire actually helps to germinate. I was reading in this morning's paper where Ara Mendrosian of Sequoia Forestkeeper says "heavy machinery required for salvage logging disturbs habitat required for some wildife, disrupts soil, damages natural seedlings and removes shade needed for young seedlings to grow". Considering everything is already reduced to ash, I think she can rest easy.
post #16 of 17
That is good news! It seems our house was spared, but not after a good scare. We have fought for years to thin the trees behind our place, which borders National Forest. 40 some years ago we cut close to 100 trees on our property without any problem. More recently we cut another 20 or so problem trees after way too much red tape and cost. We had an arson fire about 10 years ago that burnt the meadow out back, and came within a couple hundred yards of the house at that time. The meadow rebirthed very quickly. I think your idea of salvage & replant is probably the best way to go considering the severity of this fire. Hopefully the forest can be rejuvinated with some thought to the long term. The second growth forest that burned & that is still there, is not the Tahoe forest that was there origanally. I hope some thought & time goes into the future.

I will be getting out there in a couple of weeks to see the devastation of my childhood playground.

Wishing the best to all those with loss!

JF
post #17 of 17
4ster, glad your house was spared. Sorry to hear about all of the loss and destruction.

Five years after our fires, with dead standing trees, new growth everywhere and a new fire ban just announced (right after some dumbasses started a brush fire with fireworks), I definitely wish that the standing dead trees where at least reduced. You'd think that harvested already dead trees would help take pressure off other areas, plus remove them as continual hazards. Be aware they can come down any moment, especially during high winds and saturated soils.

One nice thing about the fire was it removed the undergrowth and downfalls and opened up some convenient private powder stashes and lines. It is eerie skiing amongst standing dead trees.
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