As Nevada County is starting to see our cases of Covid-19 increase daily, we are also seeing a surge of another virus, that of people not respecting the Yuba River and Tahoe National Forest. Trash, fires, animal waste, and more are becoming issues that are causing serious safety concerns. If you come to Nevada County to escape the city, please remember that people live here, and that the river and forest are not a trash can, and that we are a Wildland Urban Interface, not far from Paradise, where a fire completely obliterated a once thriving town.
The South Yuba River corridor is experiencing an unprecedented amount of visitors this year. This prized jewel of our community is seeing increased garbage and littering, illegal parking, campfires, broken bottles, animal waste, and other impacts. Nevada County is partnering with California State Parks and many partners through the South Yuba River Public Safety Cohort to provide for public safety and emergency response and strive to reduce these impacts. Not only is this river corridor amazing public land, but many people live in the corridor and they rely on respectful use of the corridor by visitors. We need everyone together to protect the South Yuba River, so pull out your checklist and make sure you Know Before You Go & Be COVID Safe!
~Stay Local – Protect yourself and others by recreating locally
~ Park Only in Designated Areas – Don’t block the road for emergency vehicles like ambulances and firetrucks. The fine for blocking emergency evacuation routes is $162
~ Pack it in, Pack it Out – Trash destroys the environment and creates safety hazards
~ Be COVID Safe – Wear a Mask, Stay 6 Feet Apart & Avoid Crowds
~ No Fires or Open Flames – Critical Fire Conditions- One spark is all it takes to start a wildfire
~ No Cell Service – Play it smart and be Prepared
~ Wear a Life Jacket – Life Jacket Loaner Station now located at Bridgeport and 49er Bridge Crossing
~ Share this Message – #KnowB4YouGo #RecreateResponsibly #BeCOVIDSafe #SlowTheSpread
For more information, visit: parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve
In addition to the issues at the river, many first time and irresponsible campers are letting their campfires get out of control, which could have disastrous consequences for our towns and long reach impacts to Tahoe National Forest.
The Tahoe National Forest is seeing a record-breaking number of campfires burning out of control, maxing out resources. In fact, Escaped campfires at the Tahoe National Forest are double what they were this time in 2018 when they had hit a record. Crews have also dealt with 75 unattended illegal campfires.
CBS13 tagged along with Tahoe National Forest Public Affairs Officer Joe Flannery Thursday to learn more about the problem. Our journey started on the water in a Nevada County Sheriff’s boat. Flannery hiked into the forest to show us the widespread damage of an escaped campfire, one of many just this season. See the segment HERE.
Additionally, seasonal fire restrictions went into effect on May 30, 2020, for National Forest lands in the Tahoe Basin. Seasonal fire restrictions mean that campfires and charcoal are only allowed within metal fire rings in campgrounds with an onsite host.
For more information about Tahoe Fire Restrictions, click HERE.