South Lake Tahoe Area Fires

Jun 26th, 2007, 11:18 PM
  #1  
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South Lake Tahoe Area Fires

Should we be concerned about traveling to South Lake Tahoe (staying at the Marriott Timberlodge) on July 4 due to the current fires? We'd be driving up from Yosemite.

We have until 4 p.m. on June 27 to change or cancel our reservations without being penalized (if we cancel less than 7 days before we'll be charged for two nights).

Thanks.
nohogal is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 07:13 AM
  #2  
 
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Did you plan on driving up 49 to 50 and then over to the lake? You might consider going over Tioga Pass, up 395 and then into Tahoe. At thhis point, they don't expect to get the fire under control until July 3rd. Can you contact Marriott and see if they can offer an alternative?
TrvlMaven is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 07:42 AM
  #3  
 
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I think that's a hard decision to make. The 4th is a week away. Here's a link to the official incident web site:

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/725

Right now things are not going that well up there but over the span of a week things will change. I hear people are cancelling their plans there so you wouldn't be the only ones to do that. Maybe you can see if you can stay in Incline Village instead. They have fireworks on the lake and are really pretty far from the fire.
Suzie is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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This fire is getting worse--the smoke is blowing over the South Lake casino area and doesn't show signs of lessening. Even if businesses were open, there are so many people displaced (over 2000) the area is clogged. What's really sad is my Sunset magazine arrived yesterday with a beautiful article about the July 4th activities at the Lake.
TrvlMaven is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 08:00 AM
  #5  
lvk
 
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I would definitely call the Marriott to see what they are advising their guests to do.

I saw that they are staging all of the firefighters at Heavenly Valley ski area, which is not far from that Marriott. There are lots of displaced people, firefighters and journalists staying in the area. The Incident Commander I saw on the news this morning said that he expects full containment by July 3rd.

I agree with the suggestion to try Incline Village or north shore lodging, but that might be tough at this late date.

Good Luck.
lvk is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 08:54 AM
  #6  
Ag3046
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I highly recommend you cancel the Marriott at South Lake Tahoe, and try for a north shore lodging such as at Incline. If you are coming from Yosemite, go up Highway 395 through Carson City, through Washoe Valley, and take the Mt. Rose Highway (SR 431) to Incline Village. Avoid Highway 27 (Kingsbury Grade) and Highway 50 at all costs. My son reports the evacuation traffic last night from Tahoe Keys was gridlocked and terrifying. They are expecting containment on July 3, but today is also a red flag day because of the high winds forecast for the area. It won't be very nice in South Lake Tahoe for the next week, as the smoke continues, the winds are hot and dry, and the town is full of firefighters, police, firefighting helicopters, and those evacuated from their homes. South Lake is just not going to be a nice place for at least a week until they get this beast under control.
 
Jun 27th, 2007, 11:36 AM
  #7  
 
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Govenor has declared a State of Emergency...Call the hotel..on the news last night the Hotels were offering residents displaced by the fire free hotel lodging...given the fact alot of the Hotel workers are probably also dispalced it be thouhtful to turn in your reservation for someone who really needs it..not to mention the air quality is bad from ash and smoke and I am sure Emergency personael don't need tourists....

1JAR is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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I live in Reno. I think the end of today will tell the tale. We are supposed to get fairly high winds today..very common here in the summer..they come up in the afternoon. They will be stronger up at the lake.

The winds were supposed to be very quiet yesterday afternoon, so they lit some back fires and the winds came up and the flames jumped HW 89 and were heading toward Tahoe Keys. With even stronger winds predicted this afternoon, it could be difficult. They don't predict, with the luck that they need, getting this fire fully contained until at least July 3.

The smoke up there has been horrible and yesterday with the wind and change of direction, we had horrible smoke down here yesterday afternoon. My nose was just horrible..stuffy etc. It blew out later but they say probably more this afternoon.

I'm really sorry, but you really need to go elsewhere.
crefloors is online now  
Jun 27th, 2007, 12:27 PM
  #9  
 
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At the gov's briefing today the quesion was asked. Here's what they said:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has left a briefing on the fire with incident commanders and headed out to tour the fire-damaged neighborhoods with other politicians.

During the briefing, the governor asked whether visitors should plan to come to Tahoe for the July 4 holiday.

Incident commander Rich Hawkins told him, "I'm thinking it's going to be okay." Hawkins added that he hesitated to make predictions like that, but he "was always a gambling man."

During the briefing, fire officials said their big concern now is the afternoon winds. They're putting their main efforts in neighborhoods with the highest potential for flare-ups, based on wind direction.

The worry is that wind-borne embers will fly north, setting more homes ablaze.

If they are successful in keeping the fire contained today and Thursday, Hawkins said, they could begin to reduce the number of firefighters and equipment on the scene.

He said he hoped that by July 4 they would be down to 200-300 firefighters, if all goes well.



I think merchants will suffer severely from the loss of tourism over this usual busy weekend. But you only have another 2.5 hours to decide.
Suzie is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 02:10 PM
  #10  
 
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I would probably reschedule especially if you were planning on doing outside activities as the air quality in the Lake Tahoe area will probably not be good. A year ago we were in California during one of their wild fires. The pool was closed and the air was yucky so we had to curtail our outside activities. Even after they got the fire under control, there was lots of smoke. Our hotel was full of evacuated people so that will probably be the case in Tahoe.
annieO is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 04:46 PM
  #11  
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We went ahead and cancelled our reservation at the Marriott Timberlodge in South Lake Tahoe. Thanks for all the responses – it helps getting comments and guidance from people who know the area or were in similar situations.

I had called the hotel and they weren’t very helpful. They told me that the fire is 7 miles away and other than a little smoke they didn’t think we should be concerned. That wasn’t very comforting.

We considered Squaw Valley, North Shore and Incline Village, since there are rooms at a few resorts there, but as of now, we’ll probably steer clear of the entire Tahoe area (we’ll let it heal and visit another time).

As of now, we’ll be in Yosemite July 1-4, but not sure where to go from there on July 4-7. We’ll check Mammoth and June Lake based on your recommendations. We may head to the coast or just head back home. Luckily, this was a car trip so we don’t have to reschedule any flights, and my work is closed for a summer shutdown that week so I don’t need to reschedule vacation time either.

My heart and best wishes go out to everyone who’s affected by the fire.
nohogal is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 03:26 PM
  #12  
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thank you all for the helpful info. I ended up cancelling my reservation with the Marriott Timberlodge in So. Lake Tahoe yesterday, but just booked reservations at the Resort at Squaw Creek for July 4-6. We leave for Yosemite on July 1.
nohogal is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 07:19 PM
  #13  
 
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As I was driving home tonight, they were interviewing the fire captain. They feel that they have the fire 75% contained and are very optimistic but of course there is no guarantee with the winds.

He is predicting that things will be fine for July 4th and I think they will be encouraging people to still come to South Lake Tahoe. I know the economy depends on these big holidays.

Just found out that the house of my ex-boss burned to the ground. He said it was close to the start of the fire and was gone within the first hour. He's already contacted his insurance agent who has been helpful. He also said no matter how much you know "it's just stuff", it's hard when you lose years of things that have sentimental value. My thoughts and prayers are with him and all the people in Lake Tahoe.
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