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With warmer weather on the horizon comes the anticipation of outdoor grilling. The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District would like to take the opportunity to remind our community of proper grilling safety tips.

“As we are all well aware of the prolonged drought conditions, although we are not in fire restrictions yet, it is imperative that we remain diligent following basic fire safety principles,” said Fire Marshal Jennifer Donohue.

Although we are not yet in fire restrictions, propane and charcoal barbequing is acceptable if used within manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations.

Allowable and prohibited items for Incline Village and Crystal Bay:



  • Propane or gas barbecues (must meet the clearances per manufacture recommendations or standard 36-inch clearance from combustibles). A recreational permit is not required.
  • Gas or propane fire pits (recreational burn permit with inspection required). Please contact Fire Inspector Jeffrey Smith at 775-831-0351, ext. 8107 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Prohibited
  • Fireworks (to include sparklers) 
  • Floating/flying lanterns 
  • Tiki torches 
  • The use of charcoal and wood-burning recreational fires

Follow these simple safety tips when using charcoal or propane grills.

Safety Tips:

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Charcoal Grills:

  • Charcoal grills are prohibited on combustible surfaces.
  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. Contact the Fire District for a free ash can (residents will need to have some type of wood burning heating appliance to be considered for the program). To obtain a free ash can, residents may fill out an application, available at the Fire District Administration Office, 866 Oriole Way, Incline Village. If the required criteria are met, an ash can will be provided.

Propane Grills:

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.
  • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it. 

For more information on outdoor grilling safety visit www.nfpa.org.

Winter Fire Restrictions Nov May 2022

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