Fireworks, of ANY kind, are illegal EVERYWHERE within Plumas County,
at ALL times.
The Lake Almanor basin is in a high fire danger zone due to the presence of
large amounts of natural fuels. As a result, there are restrictions on all forms
of outdoor burning. During the cool and wet months, these restrictions are
at their minimum level. As the season warms and dries, burn permits are
initially required and then a total burn ban is declared for the peak of the
annual "fire season."
Always check with the Fire Chief regarding current restrictions on outdoor
fires and the burning of residential yard debris. When permits are required,
they may be obtained free of charge from the fire station. Anytime that fires
are allowed, residents must always verify that it is a permissible burn day
by calling AQMD at 258-2588. Further details on allowable residential fires
may be found on the "Debris Disposal" page of this website. Please note
also that residential burning applies only to limited amounts of natural debris;
slash and residue from lot clearing or construction operations must obtain
a separate Air Quality permit from AQMD.
Wood Stoves and Fireplaces
Wood stoves and fireplaces leave a creosote residue on the inside of the flue
pipe. There are various ways of reducing creosote buildup, and you should
check the manufacturer's instructions for your appliance to determine how to
best operate it with minimum buildup. Nevertheless, creosote will still form
with time. It is important that you have your flue pipe swept regularly to reduce
the risk of a dangerous flue fire. In addition, be sure to empty ashes into a
fireproof container and store them in a safe area. Ashes can remain hot for
extended periods (often several days or more). Also, be sure to maintain your
residential smoke alarm(s) and change their batteries at least annually.
Propane Tank Safety
The Uniform Fire Code (Sec. 8209) requires that we keep weeds, grass, brush,
trash and other combustible materials well clear of propane tanks (at least ten
feet away). During the winter it is important that you keep snow from accumulating
on the propane tank regulator, the copper line, and the second stage regulator
at the house. You should maintain a clear access path through the snow to your
tank, not only so that it can be refilled but also so that any gas vapors can easily
dissipate rather than being trapped under the snow and becoming a safety hazard.
The stately forests that make Lake Almanor West such a beautiful place to live
also make it a dangerous place. The threat of wildfire is a serious concern to all
who live or visit here. To minimize that threat, it is imperative that property owners
be aware of and comply with State regulations and local CC&Rs aimed at keeping
yards in a fire-resistant condition. This means regularly disposing of combustible
debris that accumulates in yards, as well as removing lower limbs on trees and
creating an area of "defensible space" around all structures. For a more complete
description of statutory requirements and good practices, please visit the
"Yards & Trees" page of this website. Additional helpful information may be found
on the Plumas County Fire Safe Council website at http://www.plumasfiresafe.org .
A major cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department
of Forestry and Fire Protection (the former CDF, now called CalFire), local timber
companies such as Collins Pine, Roseburg and Sierra Pacific, and various private
landowners has resulted in a network of fuel breaks around the Lake Almanor basin.
These fuel breaks are patches of forest that have been thinned and cleaned up to
serve as a defensive barrier to fire (in either direction). Experience has shown that
they dramatically slow down the movement of a fire and they provide an area where
firefighters can safely and successfully suppress a blaze.
The area immediately south and west of Lake Almanor West has been treated as a
fuel break to a width of not less than 1/4 mile (in most cases the width is greater).
Additional passive fire protection for the subdivision is found in Lake Almanor itself,
which forms our eastern and northern boundaries, and in our golf course.
Homes at Lake Almanor West use individual septic tanks and leach fields rather
than a central sewage collection system. Proper septic system maintenance is
essential to reduce the risk of serious problems. Periodic inspection and pumping
is required to avoid disruptive and costly repairs. Further information on the
subject can be found in the "And More ..." page of this website as well as in the
"Septic System Guide" pamphlet available from the Plumas County Environmental
Health Department office at the Chester Civic Complex.
Building Plan Checks
One of the Fire Chief's duties is to review proposed residential construction plans
for several specific fire safety matters, in parallel with the West Almanor Community
Club Architectural Committee plan approval process. The Chief's attention is
focused on the following:
• Propane Tank -- Location at least ten feet away from structures and property
lines, tank capacity not exceeding 500 gallons, no combustibles within ten feet,
no enclosure around tank.
• Emergency Access -- Vehicular access meeting Uniform Fire Code (Sec. 902)
and State regulations.
• Premises Identification -- Street numbers of a size, contrast and location that
meets Uniform Fire Code (Sec. 901) requirements. (Think of an ambulance trying
to find your house on a dark winter night with deep snow berms along the street.)
For further information on these topics, please contact the Fire Chief.