Repopulation

Evacuation Warning for South Lake Tahoe lifted; Christmas Valley downgraded to an Evacuation Warning as of 1pm, 9/12.

The Evacuation Warning for the City of South Lake Tahoe has been lifted, effective immediately. 

*Note: Other areas within El Dorado County remain under Evacuation Warnings, including Christmas Valley.

Evacuation Warning: Potential threat to life and/or property remains. Evacuation warning can be upgraded to an evacuation order if conditions change. Should another evacuation order be issued, those who require additional time to evacuate, or those with pets and livestock may not want to return until the warning has been lifted.

Below are important messages for residents who choose to come home and repopulate the city:

 ▪ Be alert for hazards.

▪ Consider having a professional check propane tanks, regulators, and lines before turning gas on.

▪ Check your residence carefully for hidden embers or smoldering fires.

▪ Be aware of emergency vehicle traffic.

▪ Entry into closed areas is a crime and you could result in you being arrested.

▪ Be Prepared to Evacuate in the event that we return to an Evacuation Order.


Below are additional, important messages for residents who choose to come home and repopulate the city.

Food & Supplies Limited
Shop before you come home! Food and supplies are limited due to supply chains being cut off during the evacuation period. Refill prescriptions, gas up, and grab groceries and any personal items you might need before heading back to the city.

Transportation
If you need transportation services to get back home, Lake Tahoe Unified School District and Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) are providing bus service from the Reno Shelter located at 4590 South Virginia Street. Passengers will disembark at the Stateline Transit Center and connect with TTD buses operating on regular Routes 50 and 55.

Road Closures/Access

There are still fire crews, law enforcement, bulldozers and the National Guard in town and surrounding areas, so please drive safe, do not speed. There is currently more bear activity in town; bears not used to humans, so they’re not scared of cars and more likely to walk in front of you.

Pets
Residents looking for their pets that were boarded during the evacuation are asked to contact El Dorado Animal Control Services EOC at 530-573-7925.

Utilities

Southwest Gas
Message from SW Gas:

As mandatory evacuations are lifted and residents return to the South Lake Tahoe area who may have turned off their gas service as a precaution, we ask residents and businesses to please first contact Southwest Gas at 1-877-860-6020 before taking any further action. Doing this will allow us to schedule one of our technicians to come out and have your gas service restored. Southwest Gas will be in the area restoring service once the mandatory evacuations have been lifted.

Additionally, if you suspect a gas leak, please exit the area or building immediately and from a safe place call 911 and Southwest Gas at the aforementioned number day or night.

As a reminder, California residential and small business customers are ensured certain protections in times of a declared emergency through the Emergency Disaster Relief Program. For more information, please visit www.swgas.com/EDRP.  


South Tahoe Public Utility District (STPUD)
Message from STPUD:

When you arrive home, flush your waterlines by running an outdoor hose bib for a few minutes or until the water runs clear. Water that has remained in your home’s plumbing during evacuation periods can result in taste or odor issues. Run each of your inside taps for a minute to resolve this issue. South Tahoe Public Utility District’s water distribution system was not damaged by the Caldor fire and your water is safe to drink. If you have any questions or issues to report, call STPUD Customer Service at 530-544-6474.


South Tahoe Refuse (STR)
Message from STR:

Residential routes will be back on normal schedules as of Monday, Sept. 6. The transfer station will be open starting Sept. 6 for anyone who would like to bring in household garbage, etc.

Additional trucks will be staged at Bijou Park for those residents who are in need but can’t wait until the regular service day. Please do not include green waste, construction debris, or hazardous waste, household waste only is allowed.

There is no charge to drop off food waste at the Resource Recovery Facility at 2121 Eloise Ave., on Wednesdays. The main goal is to try and get the garbage out of the neighborhoods to keep the bears out of garbage and hopefully homes. Garbage stored in bear boxes or cans that were accessible at residences may already be collected or will be collected this week. STR crews have been cleaning up animal messes as they go through the neighborhoods.

STR will give specific times the additional drop-off trucks will be available, as well as locations, as soon as possible. Thank you everyone working so hard to get everyone back to our homes and businesses! STR customer service personnel are available at 530-541-5105. We will also post updates on our Facebook page and at www.southtahoerefuse.com.

Liberty Utilities
Visit https://libertyutilities.com/
For Emergencies and outages, call 1-844-245-6868
For Customer Care, call 1-800-782-2506


Health Resources
Message from Barton Health:

  • Barton Memorial Hospital and outpatient medical offices are fully open and resuming patient appointments and procedures. All standard operations will continue including use of employee entrances as appropriate, CDPH-required testing for unvaccinated healthcare workers, and visitor screenings upon entry. For more information, visit www.Bartonhealth.org. 

 
Bear and Animal Safety

  • Don’t corner the bear, they will go out the same way they came in. Don’t block their exit route.
  • Bears typically will find food and leave, but there could be a chance that the bear(s) hung around.
  • If you think or know there is a bear still inside your house call the non-emergency line for your local law enforcement agency. Don’t go inside but you can open doors for the bear to exit.
  • Pick up any trash and secure it in a bear-box.
  • Board up damaged entrances with plywood until permanent repairs can be made.
  • Give bears respect not handouts. Do not feed bears, this is more common than people think.  Bears will find their own food. 
  • If you encounter any burned or injured wildlife, contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife at 916-358-2917 or Wildlife Incident Reporting system (WIR) at apps.wildlife.ca.gov/wir or Nevada Department of Wildlife at 775-688-BEAR (2327).
  • Spoiled food needs to be disposed of properly. South Tahoe Refuse is providing drop-off locations for food waste. 
  • Take pictures of damage before making repairs to submit to insurance. 
  • It’s important that we don’t make bears comfortable in our city, we need to keep them in the wildlife where there is ample food. 
  • We may see more bears in the community that aren’t used to being around humans so they may be scared more easily but also more likely to be hit by cars. 
  • For more information about living with bears in Tahoe, visit www.TahoeBears.org, a collaboration between United States Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Parks, Nevada Department of Wildlife, and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Air Quality
Air Quality is still very poor, if you have health problems you may want to wait until the air is cleaner before returning. Visit www.airnow.gov for detailed information on current air quality index.

Restricted Areas and Hazards
For your safety, please stay out of restricted areas as not to impede emergency personnel. Firefighters may still be working in your area with structure protection equipment. Fire response equipment will be removed when it is no longer needed. Please do not interfere with firefighters as they are working.

‘Hot spots’ such as smoldering stumps, an occasional torching tree, or burning underbrush may flare up without warning. Smoke and possible isolated flare-ups may occur for several weeks. Not all hot spots need to be extinguished if they are a safe distance from fire lines or structures. Unless immediately adjacent to your home or outbuilding, allow the hot spot to burn out on its own.

Avoid ash pits and vocalize their location and warn family and neighbors to keep clear of the pits. It is common for roots to burn deep in the ground for several weeks. This hazard has potential to burn pets.

It is very common for fire damaged trees or burned structures to fall and for rocks and other debris to come cascading down slopes. If it is windy, leave the area to avoid being struck.

Watch out for downed power lines, contact your power company about the status of these utilities. For more information on hazards click here and here

Lake Conditions/Safety
Message from US Coast Guard Sector San Francisco & US Department of Homeland Security:

Mariners are urged to avoid all operations on the waters of Lake Tahoe until the impact of area wildfires have subsided.

Smoke from area wildfires is dangerous; it contains gases and fine particles that are hazardous to human health. Additionally, wildfires can spread rapidly and are unpredictable, particularly when drought conditions exist in the affected areas. Wind conditions, at times, may give the appearance that wildfire and smoke conditions are improving; however, changes in weather and atmospheric conditions are often temporary. Accordingly, the conditions at Lake Tahoe present a persistent and serious threat to the health and safety of mariners. Mariners are urged to avoid any on-water operations at Lake Tahoe until local wildfires have been contained and air quality has improved.

The availability of emergency first responders may be limited until conditions improve.

Mariners are advised that the availability of U.S. Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe and other first responders may be significantly reduced on Lake Tahoe until operations related to area wildfires are completed. The best practice for mariners is to cancel all planned activities on Lake Tahoe until conditions return to normal because emergency services may not be available to respond in a timely manner, if at all.

For additional information regarding this bulletin, please contact the U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Waterways Management Division at SFWaterways@uscg.mil or 510-612-9729.