Nev., Calif. Governors To Receive Tahoe Fire Report

Recommendations from a blue ribbon panel on how to ease the threat of another catastrophic wildfire at Lake Tahoe will be presented Tuesday to the governor's of California and Nevada and a U.S. senator.

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be joined by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to receive the final report from the California-Nevada Tahoe Basin Fire Commission and to thank panel members for their efforts.

The commission was created last summer after the Angora fire in
June burned more than 3,000 acres and destroyed 254 homes near
Tahoe's west shore.

In March, the commission unanimously agreed on at least 70 recommendations, including asking the Bush administration to declare a state of emergency for the Lake Tahoe Basin. The emergency move would allow for federal funding to prevent future catastrophic wildfire. The cost of a five-year emergency plan has been estimated at $7.8 million.

Many of the recommendations are intended to resolve the bureaucratic infighting among overlapping agencies that has hampered fire-prevention efforts for years.

The report also recommended imposing higher taxes on property owners, requiring home owners to replace wood shingles and upgrading the Tahoe basin's water systems, which together could cost more than $300 million over 20 years.

The commission's report also warned that another catastrophic fire in the Tahoe basin in imminent unless measures are taken to streamline policies that often conflict with one another.


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