Forestry Department's Controlled Burn Plan and Procedures

posted by: Derek Moore


Association News, Forestry, Member News

Burn Process and Procedures

Updated April 2018: Fire is a natural part of forest ecology in the sierras.  Controlled burns are used to efficiency and economically remove fuels from the forest.  A controlled burn is an intentionally ignited fire that removes fuel and stays inside the containment line.  If during the burn season, a controlled burn crosses the containment line Tahoe donner forestry crews are required to notify the local firefighting agencies who will respond to the area and review the circumstances.  Tahoe Donner utilizes hand created piles of material not broadcast burns to remove fuels from the forest.

  • Burn season is determined by the Unit Chief of the local Cal Fire Unit.
  • Individual burn days within the burn season are determined by the Air Quality Management District.
  • On a given burn day the area of piles to be burned on a given day is chosen depending on localized fuel conditions, weather, topography and size and amount of individual piles.
  • No burning will take place on Fridays or holiday periods.
  • Ignition of piles will start at 8:00 AM and stop around noon to allow enough time for the piles to burn down to coals and embers before 3:30 PM.
  • First, a test pile is ignited to see how the burning pile reacts with current weather and fuel moisture conditions of the material in the pile.
  • Each burn crew member is responsible for a maximum of 5 piles.
  • The pile burned during the day will be monitored until 6:30 PM.
  • Piles will be checked daily until they are dead out.

Fire Safety Preparedness

  • All crews carry firefighting tools and backpack water pumps. Tahoe Donner has an 1,800-gallon water truck, hose and nozzles, dozer and front-end loader on standby.
  • A list of burn locations is provided daily to Truckee Fire Protection District and Tahoe Donner’s Member Services.
  • Controlled burn signs are placed on streets alerting neighbors of the burning operation nearby.

Continual review of our operations and programs occur prior each year’s burn season. Truckee Fire Protection District and CAL FIRE participate in this review and provide recommendations when needed to ensure best management practices of controlled burning occurs.

In collaboration with Truckee Fire Protection District, Tahoe Donner is working with members to address concerns or questions through enhanced education and onsite staff resources.


Contact information:

Tahoe Donner Forestry Department | (530) 587-9432 | forestry@tahoedonner.com
Truckee Fire Protection District | (530) 582-7850 | Submit your comment or question.