The Tahoe National Forest is a beautiful place to escape, especially if you have been cooped up since March. But an increase in campers has also led to an increasein fire danger. TNF Public Affairs Officer Joe Flannery says this year there hase been a dramatic increase in escaped, unattended, and illegal campfires. Since May 29, when fire restrictions went into place, TNF personnel have resonded to twice as many escaped fires than in previous years.
In addition to escaped fires, Flannery says there have been four times as many unattended campfires than escaped fires. An unattended fire is one that is in a ring but has not been extinguished and noone is around.
Combined, there have been almost 100 fires in June and July that TNF employees have curtailed before they could turn into actual wildfires.
Flannery says that this time of year any fire outside of TNF campground fire ring is illegal.
He says that campers need to fully extinguish a fire before leaving the ring. Use plenty of water, stir the ashes with a shovel, and the check with the back of your hand that there is no heat.