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Disaster Averted: Hotshots Crew Extinguishes Illegal-Campfire Caused Wildfire in Tahoe Wilderness

Photo: Bill Sanders/U.S. Forest Service

A group of campers decided to ignite a campfire in a rock fire ring just south of Round Lake above Luther Pass on August 26th, even though campfires have been illegal in that area for three years. When the campfire spread to the fuels surrounding the campsite, the Tallac Hotshot crew was deployed to extinguish the flames.

Due to the quick response of the hotshots, along with help from U.S. Forest Service water drops, the fire only spread to one-tenth of an acre before it was extinguished. But the incident could have been much worse and the Forest Service is using the incident to remind the public why campfires in the area remain illegal.

Photo: Bill Sanders/U.S. Forest Service

“National Forest lands in the Tahoe Basin are are under year-round fire restrictions and campfires are prohibited in these backcountry areas due to the fire risk they pose to our communities, wildlife and forests,” the Forest Service said in a statement.

On the same day, Cal Fire extinguished a similar fire on the south side of Mt. Pluto near Watson Lake. Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, officials believe it was also an illegal campfire.

Photo: Bill Sanders/U.S. Forest Service

Forest Service officials noticed a few illegal campfires in the wilderness while extinguishing the fire. If you want to have a campfire in Northern California, please check all regulations in the area beforehand. NorCal is very vulnerable to wildfires and any small ignition could put thousands in danger and cost millions of dollars in damage.

Shout out the to Tallac Hotshots for a great job extinguishing the flames! If you want to learn more about NorCal smokejumpers, check this out – Watch what it’s Like to be a Smokejumper in Northern California.

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