In 1999, because of a growing awareness of the increased risks posed by wild land fires to homes because of unnatural fuel accumulations, the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District established a six-person hand crew. This crew was created to conduct all aspects of fuels management activities in the Incline Village and Crystal Bay areas that would reduce the risks from wildfire, especially near the homes in the area. It also functioned as an initial and extended-attack fire suppression crew.
The Fire District currently staffs two hand crews: Rifle Peak Hand Crew (C-1) and Slide Mountain Hand Crew (C-2). Hand Crews complete the majority of fuels management work in and around the district. Most work performed by these highly skilled crews is on property owned by other agencies. We have strong partnerships with the United States Forest Service (Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit), the Nevada Division of Forestry, Nevada State Lands, and the Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID).
The crews respond to wildfires across the Sierra Front and the western states to aid in fire suppression. They play a key role in our preparedness to suppress a wildfire here in Incline/Crystal Bay and have responded to assist in flooding, rescues and any time strong hands are needed to serve our community’s public safety needs.
Working together with NV Energy, we also staff three Type 6 engines (B-15, B-16, B-17), to do hazardous fuels mitigation along the power line right of ways. These engine modules are responsible for removing flammable vegetation around the power poles and along the corridors to reduce the threat of a fire starting in these areas as well as potential fire damage to NV Energy infrastructure. They also focus on priority circuits in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin and other areas around the state of Nevada, as determined by NV Energy.
This unique program has been considered a leader in today’s fire service. We believe it is far better to remove hazardous fuels before the fire starts. We are concerned about the environment and the future of our community, and we do our best to balance the needs of both.