Visitor's Guide to Wildfire Season in Truckee-Tahoe
Truckee’s wildfire season is now. If you are visiting, have a plan, stay alert and read our Truckee Travel Alert.
RED FLAG WARNINGS
What is a Red Flag Warning?
A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert, issued by the National Weather Service when weather events may result in EXTREME FIRE DANGER within 24 hours. Any combination of the following conditions can trigger a Red Flag Warning: strong winds (25+), high temperature, low humidity levels (20% and below), dry fuels, and the possibility of dry lightning strikes. Take extreme caution during a Red Flag Warning by having NO OPEN FLAMES outdoors from any type of fire source (gas, wood, charcoal, smoking, etc.).
Where can I check if a Red Flag is in Effect?
Fire Weather Watch vs. Red Flag Warning
Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions (low humidity, gusty winds, dry lightning) in the next 12-72 hours could lead to extreme fire behavior. It's a heads up to get prepared, alerting the public that fire conditions are possible but not imminent or occurring.
Red Flag Warning is issued when critical fire conditions are ongoing or expected to occur within 24 hours.
Learn more from NOAA's Understanding Wildfire Warnings, Watches.
Learn more about Red Flag Warnings
- Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches, Truckee Fire Protection District
- Red Flag Warnings, Nevada County
Truckee & Donner Summit Residential Areas
- NO WOOD OR CHARCOAL FIRES
- When Red Flag Warning is in effect, NO OPEN FLAMES are permitted, including gas (no wood, charcoal, gas, or smoking).
- View Truckee & Donner Summit fire restrictions.
Donner Memorial State Park
- NO WOOD OR CHARCOAL FIRES in day use areas.
- Campground closed for the season.
- View Donner Memorial State Park fire restrictions
Tahoe National Forest
- NO WOOD OR CHARCOAL FIRES
- California Campfire Permit REQUIRED to use portable GAS stoves or grills.
- View Tahoe National Forest fire restrictions
During a Red Flag Warning
Take extreme caution during red flag warnings to prevent sparks. NO OPEN FLAMES from any type of fire source - NO gas, wood, charcoal or smoking.
PLAN AHEAD - ADVICE FOR VISITORS
- Bookmark and read our Truckee Travel Alert.
- Read our Visitor's Guide to Summer Power Outages.
- Carry an emergency kit in your car.
- Check Truckee weather and Red Flag Warning status.
- Sign up for emergency alerts.
- Talk to your lodging provider before your visit.
- Know your evacuation zone and closest evacuation routes.
Where are fires burning? How far from Truckee?
During wildfire season, it is not uncommon to have fires burning in other parts of California with no threat to Truckee, although they may affect air quality. Use these resources to see where active fires are and if they affect the Truckee-Tahoe region:
Where can I find travel information for Truckee?
Read and bookmark our Truckee Travel Alert. The key to a successful trip, no matter what time of the year, is to do your research and know before you go! Weather and conditions can change rapidly but we’ll keep you updated daily.
What should I carry in my emergency kit?
If you are driving to Truckee, learn how to assemble an emergency kit and keep it in your car. At a minimum, your kit should include the following:
- Face covering
- Backup power for your phone
- Print a physical map of Truckee before you go
How can I check Truckee-Tahoe air quality?
Check our weather page for 18 live webcams, eight air quality readings, and smoke + forecast links. Keep in mind that air quality can change quickly with wind shifts or as new fires pop up. Learn about protecting yourself from wildfire smoke from the California Air Resources Board.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR LODGING PROVIDER
- What is the address of your stay? Know your evacuation zone and all possible evacuation routes from your location. Your route will not be identified by authorities until an evacuation is actually happening.
- Is there road construction? Other than the information we have on the Truckee Travel Alert page, you may wish to ask about road construction and how it may impact travel and evacuation routes.
- What is the cancellation policy? Understand your lodging provider's cancellation policy and what your travel insurance will and will not cover.
HOW TO GET EMERGENCY ALERTS & UPDATES
2. View Ready Nevada County Dashboard and map HERE
3. Follow these social media accounts:
- Nevada County Office of Emergency Services - Twitter
- Nevada County Sheriff's Office - Twitter
- Placer County Sheriff's Office - Twitter
- Truckee Fire - Twitter
- CAL FIRE Nevada Yuba Placer Unit - Twitter
- USFS Tahoe National Forest - Twitter
- USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit - Twitter
- Caltrans District 3 - Twitter
- CHP Truckee - Twitter
- Nevada County - Twitter
- Placer County - Twitter
- National Weather Service Reno - Twitter
- Town of Truckee - Facebook
- Nevada County, CA - Facebook
- Truckee Fire Protection District - Facebook
- Truckee Police - Facebook
WHAT TO KEEP ON YOUR PHONE
Check out this article from Moonshine Ink about what apps and website pages to keep on your phone to be ready for wildfire.
BE PREPARED FOR EVACUATIONS
Know Your Evacuation Zone
Find your Nevada County evacuation zone using Zonehaven. Enter the address of your lodging or residence to find your evacuation zone and view its current status - Evacuation Order, Evacuation Warning, Advisory, Clear to Repopulate, Shelter in Place, or Normal.
Identify Evacuation Routes
Talk with your lodging provider and ask what the closest evacuation routes are. Print a physical map of Truckee and identify at least three evacuation routes from your location. Ready Nevada County Dashboard Evacuation Route Pre-Planner.
How do I know when to evacuate?
Be familiar with the different evacuation terms - Evacuation Order, Evacuation Warning, Shelter in Place - so that you know what to do if an evacuation warning or order is issued. Evacuation Terms Explained.
Listen for Evacuation Sirens
Truckee Police Department's Hi/Lo evacuation siren alerts the community to evacuate now. When you hear this Hi/Lo siren, it's time to GO - evacuate immediately.
SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING
If you see an unattended campfire, billowing smoke, or an active wildfire that is not attended, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1. Remember the adage, “if you see something, say something!”
- Know Before You Go - Know how to prevent wildfires by properly using outdoor equipment, learning campfire safety, and checking for fire restrictions and closures.
- Practice Physical Distancing – Give people space - it’s critical to not crowd firefighting efforts. Wildfires are no-drone-zones.
- Plan Ahead - Know what fire restrictions are in place at your destination, and check if campfires, barbecues, and flammables are allowed.
- Play it Safe - From fireworks to camp stoves, understand the potentially explosive nature of your toys and tools, and that some of these may be restricted in your location.
- Explore Locally – Impacts from wildfire can change your travel plans. Have a back-up plan, like close-to-home gems that you have yet to explore.
- Leave No Trace – Keep your campfire small, ensure that it’s out completely and cold to the touch prior to leaving or going to sleep.
- Build an Inclusive Outdoors - Everyone experiences the outdoors differently, and we can work together to keep our communities safe.
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