Red Flag Declaration Prompts Activation of Local Strike Teams

September 14th, 2019

Erin Holland
Public Information Officer
North Tahoe Fire


TAHOE CITY, CA, Sept. 14, 2019 – For the first time this fire season, the Lake Tahoe Basin Operational Area is under a Red Flag Warning, elevated to the level of a Particular Dangerous Situation – considered extreme fire danger, and has received state funding to activate and pre-position a task force during extreme fire weather in the region, forecast through Monday.

In addition to several local departments upstaffing in preparation for this fire weather event, one strike team of type 3 engines from San Joaquin are being deployed to patrol the west shore of Lake Tahoe, and one strike team of type 3 engines, one hand crew strike team, and one dozer from CAL FIRE are stationed in Truckee.

Fire Chief Sean Bailey of Northstar Fire prepared and submitted the funding request through California’s Mutual Aid System, which is committed to ensuring neighbor-helping-neighbor resources are available when disaster strikes. Cal OES is committed to support activities directly related to regional response and readiness. SB 901 provided that these activities include pre-deployment of government resources that are part of the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System upon the authority and approval of the California Office of Emergency Services to meet the requirements for state resources called up for pre-disaster and disaster response.

The Lake Tahoe Basin’s forests have an extraordinary amount of fuel and some of the highest ignition rates in the Sierra Nevada, calling for additional restrictions imposed during Red Flag Conditions. During Red Flag Warning days, a declaration by the Fire Chief will be enforced, prohibiting all burning of solid fuels during that time period. (Local ordinance 307.1.2). This includes charcoal barbeques. The USFS also prohibits the cutting of wood, and other industrial activities such as welding and grinding in such conditions.
We ask that the public remain on high alert through Monday, and follow the National Weather Service in Reno for updates. For additional information on how to prevent wildfires, visit For information on preparing for disasters, visit