Fire Safety FAQs

Given the current weather and fire danger, as of July 20 at 3pm, the Fire Chief has ordered the following restrictions be put in place UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE:

NO- Charcoal bbqs
NO- Pellet bbqs
YES- Propane Fire pits and grills
YES- Liquid petroleum or gas camp stoves.

If you are unclear about any of these restrictions you can call the main Fire station at 530-542-6160.

Fire Safety FAQs - the above restrictions preempt any reference to charcoal or other solid fuels until further notice. 

Do you have questions about fire safety? We’re here to answer your questions and help keep you safe. See FAQs below. If you have additional questions that we do not address here, please contact Sallie Ross, Fire PIO, at 530-542-6160 or

Q1. I want to grill some burgers outside on my BBQ. What ignition source can I use and where?

A1. Only charcoal BBQs/grills are allowed at single-family dwellings and duplexes. Per California Fire Code, grills are not permitted at apartments, including first floor apartments, patios, and balconies, unless balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system. More charcoal regulations can be found here and here.

Q2. I’m spending the day at the beach with my family and want to fire up my charcoal grill. This is allowed, right?

A2. No! Charcoal and wood fires are not permitted on any beach in the Tahoe Basin, including beaches within the City of South Lake Tahoe city limits. You can use a small propane tank grill.

Q3. My friends and I are camping this weekend and can’t wait to roast marshmallows! What can we use?

A3. Fires of any kind are not allowed at any camp sites, except at the Campground by the Lake as follows: Charcoal is allowed in the designated BBQs/grills. Wood fires are allowed in the designated rings.

Q4. I see people using charcoal at Lakeview Commons. Is this ok?

A4. Yes! But with some restrictions. You can use charcoal in designated BBQs/grills in the grassy area only.

Q5. I’m all done with my grilling, so what do I do with the ashes? Can I just toss them out with the trash?

A5. No! This is an unsafe practice and risks reignition if not properly disposed of. Free ash cans are provided by the City at any fire station (see location addresses below). For more details on proper disposal, click here .

Fire Station 1, 1252 Ski Run Blvd.

Fire Station 2, 2951 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Fire Station 3, 2101 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Q6. What is a Red Flag Day?

A6. Red Flag Days are designated when there is a high fire danger due to existing weather conditions. Burning of any kind, in any space is not permitted on Red Flag Days. For more information, visit here and for Red Flag notifications go to the National Weather Service site or the SLTFR Facebook page @southlaketahoefire.

Q7. What other grilling options do I have?

A7. If you live in a multi-family dwelling, are camping, beach-going, or enjoying other outdoor activities, you can use an electric grills or small propane tank grills with 1 pound LP gas capacity (typical camping stove).