Red Flag Warning/National Fire Danger Rating System

September 4th, 2019


Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team

Contact: Lisa Herron, U.S. Forest Service, 530-543-2815

Eric Guevin, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, 775-588-3591

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 4, 2019 

Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team Logo

Red Flag Warning/National Fire Danger Rating System 

Fire Prevention is everyone's responsibility! 

LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev. – Fire season is now considered a year-round event, particularly in the western United States. In the past, wildfires normally occurred in late summer and early fall when temperatures were high, humidity low and vegetation extremely dry. Local, state and federal fire managers now know that devastating wildfires can occur any time of year, so fire season is now known as a fire year. Sadly, most wildfires continue to be human-caused and are completely preventable. Fire prevention is the key to keeping our communities and forests safe from unwanted wildland fires.

In addition to fire restrictions, which are implemented to help keep our communities and forests safe, the National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches to alert fire departments and the public about critical fire weather and dry conditions that could lead to an increase in wildfire activity. The type of weather conditions that can cause a watch or warning include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry vegetation and the possibility of lightning strikes. Below is an explanation of the difference between a watch and a warning:

In addition to Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches, the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) allows fire managers to estimate daily fire danger for a given area. NFDRS uses five different color-coded adjective ratings to help the public understand fire potential. These signs are placed in key locations to alert the public about current fire danger and are most often associated with Smokey Bear. Below is an explanation of the different fire danger levels:

It's important that residents and visitors in the Tahoe Basin educate themselves about wildfire prevention, share information with family and friends, and take steps to prevent a wildfire from sparking. One less spark means one less wildfire! For tips on preventing wildfires, visit


About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team

The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) consists of representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, CAL FIRE, Nevada Division of Forestry and related state agencies, University of California and Nevada Cooperative Extensions, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the USDA Forest Service, conservation districts from both states, the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Our Mission is to protect lives, property and the environment within the Lake Tahoe Basin from wildfire by implementing prioritized fuels reduction projects and engaging the public in becoming a Fire Adapted Community.

For more information, visit