Forest Schafer is the Forester for North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection district.
“And our fuels conditions are predicting a serious fire season where we could have some catastrophic wildfire.”
He says fire agencies in the area are trying to hire more staff, but that’s difficult. The agencies are owed hundreds of thousands in federal funds that were frozen when the Nevada Fire Safe Council went bankrupt three years ago. North Lake for instance is down 39 fuels reduction staff.
Chief Michael Brown wants the federal funds released so he can hire back staff.
“We met our obligations, those grants were awarded to our fire districts and those grant monies should come back to the fire districts to help us offset our costs for what we had to pay out of our general fund.”
More than 50 businesses, homeowners and fire agencies claim they are owed federal funds. They include the California Fire Safe Council, Meeks Bay, Sierra and Tahoe-Douglas fire protection districts.
Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Liberty Utilities and Tesla are hoping to use renewable batteries as a backup power source for the resort and surrounding homes.
Summertime is a favorite for tourists at Lake Tahoe, but the region's transportation system is not designed for the growing number of people who use it. The TRPA and TERC are coming up with a plan to fix the gridlock and improve the lake's clarity.
A waste management agency in South Lake Tahoe has started offering homeowners loans to buy bear-proof garbage bins. It's an effort to reduce conflicts with the animals who wander into neighborhoods in search of food.
It looks like this year's fire season will start later than normal in the Tahoe area...sometime in July-August rather than the typical May-June time frame. That's because of the wet winter and a snowpack 200 to 300 percent of normal.
Homes and businesses in Truckee and Lake Tahoe are under several feet of snow.