Federal water master: I’ve never seen Lake Tahoe stay this full for this long

RENO, Nev. — Lake Tahoe is the fullest it’s been in nearly two decades.

Officials say the alpine lake on the California-Nevada line is approaching the legal limit after snowmelt from a stormy winter left enough water to potentially last through three summers of drought.

For three weeks, Tahoe has been within an inch (25 millimeters) of its maximum allowed surface elevation of 6,229.1 feet (1,898 meters) above sea level,

It crept to within a half-inch (13 millimeters) earlier this week.

Chad Blanchard, a federal water master in Reno responsible for managing the water, told the Reno Gazette Journal it’s the longest he’s seen the lake stay that high for so long.

“This is a rare year,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 26 years, and we’ve had big (snow) years, but this one is unique as far as being up within an inch of being full and it’s just hanging there … It’s a product of still having so much snow up there.”

Lake Tahoe, the second-deepest lake in the U.S. at about 1,645 feet (501 meters), typically holds enough water to cover the entire state of California with 14 inches (35 centimeters) of the wet stuff.

Only Oregon’s Crater Lake is deeper.

As winter snow continues to melt from mountain tops and into Tahoe, the rate of summertime surface evaporation is beginning to pick up.

Blanchard says the lake soon will reach a point of equilibrium when snowmelt slows and the rate of evaporation increases. Then, the lake level will begin to drop.

“What it means going forward is a good water supply for three years,” he said.

The legal limit of the lake plays a role in determining if, when and how much water is spilled into the Truckee River at a dam in Tahoe City, California.

The San Jose Mercury News reported the lake level has risen 8 feet (2.5 meters) since the beginning of 2016, when it hit a low point during Califo rnia’s five-year drought.

This summer will be the third time in the past three years that the lake has come up to the edge of its legal limit. That previously happened in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Federal water master: I’ve never seen Lake Tahoe stay this full for this long

RENO, Nev. — Lake Tahoe is the fullest it’s been in nearly two decades.

Officials say the alpine lake on the California-Nevada line is approaching the legal limit after snowmelt from a stormy winter left enough water to potentially last through three summers of drought.

For three weeks, Tahoe has been within an inch (25 millimeters) of its maximum allowed surface elevation of 6,229.1 feet (1,898 meters) above sea level,

It crept to within a half-inch (13 millimeters) earlier this week.

Chad Blanchard, a federal water master in Reno responsible for managing the water, told the Reno Gazette Journal it’s the longest he’s seen the lake stay that high for so long.

“This is a rare year,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 26 years, and we’ve had big (snow) years, but this one is unique as far as being up within an inch of being full and it’s just hanging there … It’s a product of still having so much snow up there.”

Lake Tahoe, the second-deepest lake in the U.S. at about 1,645 feet (501 meters), typically holds enough water to cover the entire state of California with 14 inches (35 centimeters) of the wet stuff.

Only Oregon’s Crater Lake is deeper.

As winter snow continues to melt from mountain tops and into Tahoe, the rate of summertime surface evaporation is beginning to pick up.

Blanchard says the lake soon will reach a point of equilibrium when snowmelt slows and the rate of evaporation increases. Then, the lake level will begin to drop.

“What it means going forward is a good water supply for three years,” he said.

The legal limit of the lake plays a role in determining if, when and how much water is spilled into the Truckee River at a dam in Tahoe City, California.

The San Jose Mercury News reported the lake level has risen 8 feet (2.5 meters) since the beginning of 2016, when it hit a low point during Califo rnia’s five-year drought.

This summer will be the third time in the past three years that the lake has come up to the edge of its legal limit. That previously happened in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

BLM finalizes Burning Man environmental review

RENO, Nev. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has issued a final environmental impact statement for the Burning Man counter-culture festival that will cap attendance at the current 80,000 limit for the annual gathering in the northern Nevada desert.

The formal record of decision released Wednesday was mostly a formality that made no changes in the final proposed version issued June 14. It will serve as a guide for rules and restrictions for special use permits over the next 10 years.

Burning Man organizers had wanted the flexibility to expand to as many 100,000 people at the event held the week leading up to Labor Day about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Reno.

They say a possible bump in the limit could still be considered in future years but they’re satisfied to remain at the current level for now.

San Francisco man drowns at Lake Tahoe

A 34-year-old San Francisco man drowned at Lake Tahoe on Tuesday.

Bystanders pulled the unresponsive man from the water at about 4 p.m. on the north end of Zephyr Cove and began life-saving measures.

When Douglas County deputies arrived they took over CPR until Tahoe-Douglas medics arrived on scene.

The man was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, where he was pronounced dead.

His identity was not released on Wednesday.

NV Energy to discuss fire emergency shut downs in Incline Village

NV Energy will hold an open house in Incline Village on Wednesday to tell customers about the possible shut down of electric power in the event of a fire emergency.

The utility is, for the first time, implementing plans for Public Safety Outage Management in which the company will shut off power in extreme fire risk areas.

The plan was set up in the wake of the recent California fire believed sparked by a faulty transformer.

The event will be held at Sierra Nevada College in the Tahoe Center for Environmental Science building, Room 139.

The informal information session will run from 4-7 p.m.

A spokesperson said plans are to provide notice to customers who will lose power at least 48 hours in advance and to provide updates on the status of the outage by phone through text or email.

Customers are urged to make sure NV Energy has their contact information and to sign up for alerts through MyAccount at the utility’s website.