The agency’s online services have returned to full capacity. While there were slight delays during the evacuations and equipment relocation, planners continued to work remotely on project applications and public hearings, and site inspectors were able to conduct pre-grade inspections virtually for projects not impacted by Caldor Fire evacuations. TRPA’s priorities will continue to be the safety of staff and the public, supporting the work of partner agencies in fire recovery efforts, and maintaining a high level of customer service.

The Caldor Fire has caused unavoidable delays in some construction projects and the October 15 closure of Lake Tahoe’s grading and digging season is fast approaching. As a reminder, the grading season protects Lake Tahoe’s water quality from erosion caused by precipitation. The Caldor Fire scorched approximately 10,000 acres and public agencies are preparing for potential impacts to the watershed from debris and ash flowing into waterways.

Buttoning up projects by October 15 will be critical this year and requests for grading season exceptions will only be allowed for public safety and water quality. Project owners or managers can apply for a grading season exception online and all requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In the aftermath of the 2007 Angora Wildfire, TRPA assisted El Dorado County to streamline permit applications for property owners needing to rebuild. The assistance helped El Dorado County set a record for the number of site assessments conducted in one year and assured a rapid recovery for property owners and the community. The agency is again ready to help local jurisdictions, the USDA Forest Service, and state agencies in any way possible with recovery work.

Lake Tahoe communities were thankfully spared from the destruction of the Caldor Fire. Defensible space and fuel reduction work supported by TRPA and our partners on the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team played a significant role in the ability of firefighters to save hundreds, or even thousands, of homes and businesses. Unfortunately, many in our neighboring communities were not spared and residents and visitors in the Tahoe Basin must remain vigilant and prepared for a potential catastrophic wildfire.

The agency wants to reassure property owners that, in the event of a catastrophe, the TRPA Code of Ordinances allows property owners to rebuild and replace what existed before. Property owners are encouraged to keep recent photos or videos of their property to help with insurance claims and possibly the rebuilding process.