Wildfire season peak puts fuels reduction in focus
A crew loads logs from the South Shore Fuels Reduction Project near Fallen Leaf Lake Wednesday.
The smoky skies hanging over Lake Tahoe are an obvious reminder of the dangers wildfires pose to the region. But, unlike the vast acreage burned in the Rim Fire, the South Shore is undergoing steps that may prevent a massive wildfire from sweeping through the area.
The South Shore Fuels Reduction Project is chugging into its second year. Both mechanically and by hand, crews have thinned thousands of acres. Though the project has met some controversy, the Forest Service remains confident that it will drastically reduce the risk of a devastating fire.
“The Rim Fire puts it into perspective,” U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Cheva Heck said. “It reminds you what a severe wildfire can do. We don’t want to be in that situation.”
After more than seven years of planning, the forest service approved the South Shore Fuels Reduction Project in January 2012. The project proposed more than 10,000 acres of forest surrounding South Lake Tahoe be thinned. So far, crews have thinned about 2,000 acres.
On part of the project site near Fallen Leaf Lake Wednesday, workers ...