📸 Courtesy of Kenon Smith
📸Courtesy of TNF Truckee Hotshot Captain Dustin Freedman
Tahoe National Forest (TNF) Fire Prevention, Detection, and Suppression Resources have been staffing 24 hours when conditions across the TNF warrant the need for remaining fire and all hazard ready for a rapid incident response at any hour. The Tahoe National Forest has a 100% full fire suppression policy for every fire ignited on the TNF. As High and Very High Fire Danger conditions exist across the Forest, TNF Dispatchers dispatch a full wildland fire response to initial attack every TNF Fire.
While TNF Fire resources were staffing 24 hours beginning the Friday before Labor Day, they responded, caught, and contained 5 TNF wildfires, all less than 1/4 acre over Labor Day weekend while also providing mutual aid assistance to CAL FIRE and additional cooperators for fire and medical aids.
After being released from CAL FIRE’s Hill Fire, TNF crews were extending staffing Tuesday 9.6.22 when the Mosquito Fire near Oxbow Reservoir on the American River Ranger District ignited at approx. 6:27pm. Tahoe National Forest Fire Resources with cover resources immediately responded and began aggressive fire suppression efforts. The TNF full wildland initial attack response consisted of Air Attack 17 with Air Tankers, Type 1,2,3 Helicopters with Helitack, Helicopter-Rappelers, Hotshots, Engines, Fire Prevention Patrols/Fire Investigators, Fuels personnel, Dozers, Water Tenders, and TNF Fire Chiefs. Two additional agencies also dispatched resources. Ground firefighting resources engaged in taking full suppression action to contain the fire, supported by the air resources. Due to the time of day that the fire ignited, with TNF Air Attack over the fire, air tankers and helicopters performed as many retardant and bucket drops as they could before having to return to base right before dark. The edge of a thunderstorm sent downdraft winds through the fire area greatly increasing the rate of fire spread and causing spotting as the fire burned in an area of steep terrain in three river drainages containing critically dry fuels exacerbated by an extreme and prolonged heat wave. Firefighters from various agencies continued fire suppression operations while Placer County Sheriff’s Office initiated evacuations for the protection of life/safety as the fire burned actively overnight.
Tahoe National Forest local fire resources have remained engaged in fire suppression operations, structure prep and defense, joined by the additional resources fighting the Mosquito Fire, ordered by TNF Dispatch and Expanded Dispatch at the Grass Valley Emergency Command Center. TNF Dispatch, in addition to supporting the Mosquito Fire, are dispatching and supporting TNF Fire Resources responding to new incidents while filling orders for additional resource needs for the Mosquito Fire and the Forest.
While providing local TNF Fire Resources to support the Mosquito Fire, TNF Fire Chiefs continue to maintain Forest coverage for new incidents. They are prepositioning TNF and cover Fire Resources, and implementing 24 hour staffing as needed. Sequoia National Forest Helicopter N304HA with 523 Kernville Helitack was ordered and arrived 2 days after the Mosquito Fire started as an Initial Attack resource providing coverage on Forest stationed at TNF White Cloud Helibase. Several hours after their arrival, a new fire start on the TNF Sierraville Ranger District was reported and TNF Fire resources from Truckee and Sierraville quickly took suppression action on the Yuba Fire off Yuba Pass where they caught and contained the fire at .1 acres.
Conditions on the Tahoe National Forest are conducive to fire starts and growth. No matter where TNF Fire Resources are positioned or committed across the Forest, TNF Fire Prevention, Detection, and Suppression Resources remain ready to respond and are committed to the protection of life safety, communities, properties, and our Tahoe National Forest- our home, your home, a home away from home.
As the TNF maintains preparedness, its important that everyone is prepared for wildfires or other emergencies not only during National Preparedness Month but always. Be sure to sign up for your county’s emergency alert notifications.
Interested in becoming a USFS wildland firefighter and make a difference protecting communities and natural resources? Visit Tahoe National Forest website and Facebook for upcoming hiring info. Temporary Seasonal Job Applications are accepted on USAJobs.gov from Sept. 29-Oct. 6 for 2023 Fire Season.
For information on the Mosquito Fire visit Inciweb, as well as Tahoe National Forest Social Media.
📸 Courtesy of TNF Fire PIO Meredith Anello
📸 Courtesy of TNF American River Hotshot Bobby Blaine
📸 Courtesy of TNF Engine 361 Wildland Fire Apprentice Krystal Benn