CalFire says it’s already responded to 300 wildfires this year, up from the 50 that would be normal for this time in a typical year. Now the agency is asking landowners to clear defensible space around homes months before they normally would.
Dave Zaski with the North Tahoe Fire Department says people need to be extra careful to avoid causing fires.
“We can’t do anything about lightning," he said. "But the most damaging fires are human caused, like the Rim Fire, where they had a camp ground fire when they shouldn’t have had.”
Zaski said the region has already seen a wild land fire on the Nevada side of the lake. He says that’s unusual because the fire was at an elevation of 7,000 feet.
Permits to cut Christmas trees go on sale soon in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Prescribed burn operations are expected to start this week in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Much of the Butte Fire burn area is completely devoid of life. The trees are blackened sticks. Large areas suffered "high severity" burns, which means no vegetation survived the extremely hot flames.
The latest forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center shows El Niño will help improve the drought in parts of California by the end of January.
Two weeks after the Butte Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties was contained, fire managers are assessing the blaze and the effort to fight it.