I’ve definitely been in the valley when it was thick with smoke and you can’t see Tram Face from right below it but that was from a distant fire and it wasn’t an immediate threat. We just had to stay indoors and wait it out but what would you do if 89 was blocked in both directions and a wildfire was closing in on you in Squaw Valley?
KTVN reports officials answered that question this weekend during a wildfire evacuation drill at Squaw Valley and neighboring Alpine Meadows. Officials in Squaw hosted one of two community drills in collaboration with Squaw Valley Fire Department, North Tahoe Fire Protection District, Placer County Sheriff, and Alpine Meadows Fire Safe Council at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Sunday.
Obviously the best thing to do during a wildfire would be to leave the region entirely before you are trapped but officials say if both directions on Highway 89 is closed and a fire is moving towards Olympic Valley and Alpine meadows, people should go to the Squaw Valley Ski Resort or Alpine Meadows parking lot as areas of refuge.
“It is probably the least dangerous place to be, it’s got really good separation from all the fuels in all directions.” -Squaw Valley Fire Department Chief Allen Riley
For the drills simulated evacuation orders were sent through Nixle and Nextdoor, alerting participating residents to evacuate to areas of refuge in either the Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows parking lots. Anyone can participate in the drills, and all local residents and homeowners are encouraged to participate in their respective valley. The Alpine Meadows drill will take place on September 21, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Alpine Meadows Ski Resort parking lot.
To prep for the drills and for real emergencies, residents and homeowners are asked to register at Nixle and nextdoor.com for emergency alerts. Residents are also encouraged to sign up for Placer Alert. This system will be used in case of a real emergency. Stay safe, be prepared, and do everthing you can to mitiagate dangers of a fire catching in your in neck of the woods.
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