Supervisor Sue Novasel District V Special Updates - September 8, 2021

September 8, 2021                                                         

Supervisor Novasel

El Dorado County

District V Supervisor, Sue Novasel Special Updates

Caldor Fire

As CAL FIRE begins to lift the Caldor Fire evacuation  orders and warnings in certain areas of the County, many of you are wondering when and how you'll be notified that it's safe to return home and many of you are wondering why the evacuation orders are in place if there's no visible fire in your area. 

First, please be assured that the fire teams and law enforcement teams are working in tandem with water and power agencies to do their best to get you home as soon as it's safely possible. The Incident Commanders, operations leaders, and meteorologists are constantly monitoring the fire activity to both fight the fire itself and to determine when it's safe to repopulate areas. 

While you may not have or see fire directly in line with your property, CAL FIRE officials emphasized that a single ember can land a half mile to a mile away and spark a hotspot that can quickly increase the fire's scope or change its path. They also noted that 75% of embers are sparking fires. And while that's down from the 95% of a couple days ago, it is still a serious threat. 

Additionally, even after the fire has been controlled in a certain area, the job of mopping up begins, including taking all the hoses out, clearing debris, checking the power lines and ensuring the area is fully safe for repopulation. When an evacuation order is downgraded to a warning, it is possible for citizens to repopulate that area. However, it does not mean that the “all clear” has been given. Citizens should still use caution and be aware of the possibility of new evacuations until the warning has been lifted. The last thing that CAL FIRE wants to do is to declare an “all-clear” only to have to reissue an evacuation warning or order.

I know these times are extremely stressful, especially the component of not knowing when we'll be allowed back home. I'm asking you to trust in the professionals who are working in your best interest to get you home as quickly as is safely possible. 

If you were notified by CODE RED about your evacuation, you will be notified again by CODE RED when it is safe to return; otherwise CAL FIRE, EL Dorado County Sheriff and the County will post notices to social media.


Clean Up Information

Throughout the duration of the Caldor Fire and evacuation orders, South Tahoe Refuse (STR) has continuously provided refuse services for locations along the South Shore where we have emergency response personnel, including fire stations and temporary command centers. In addition, on September 2nd we resumed limited emergency commercial and residential collection service in an effort to address and limit animal access issues. 

Our Transfer Station re-opened on Monday, September 6th and we have now resumed all regular collection routes.  In addition, we have established temporary drop-off locations throughout the community to provide options for residents who may have spoiled food and/or garbage that wasn’t collected during the evacuation that may need to be disposed of before collection day. We’re reminding residents not to put any food-related garbage out until their collection day.

Residents can drop off household garbage/spoiled food free of charge at:

  • STR Transfer Station
    2140 Ruth Ave., South Lake Tahoe, CA
    8:00am-5:00pm (temporarily open 7 days/week)
  • Bijou Park
    1201 Al Tahoe Blvd.
    Mon-Fri, 1pm-5pm, Sat/Sun 8am-5pm
  • Tahoe Douglas Fire Station #23,
    193 Elks Point Rd., Zephyr Cove, NV
    Mon-Fri, 1pm-5pm, Sat/Sun 8am-5pm

Once the Meyers area has re-opened we will also have a drop-off location at Holiday Market (west end of parking lot) – 2277 Hwy 50, Meyers, CA - Mon-Fri, 1pm-5pm, Sat/Sun 8am-5pm

We are encouraging customers to separate food waste from all other waste if possible and bins will be available at the Transfer Station for food only which will be sent to Full Circle Compost. 


Why Are We Still Evacuated?

Even though smoke has cleared in some areas and you can't see fire, it may still be unsafe for you to return, which is why evacuation orders remain intact.

There is still a lot of work being done in the burned areas. Hazard trees and debris are being removed and public utility agencies are working to restore power, water and cell service. 


County Elections Provides Information About SLT Vote Center and Drop Boxes for Recall Election

El Dorado County Registrar of Voters today announced the opening of the Vote Center in South Lake Tahoe areas after residents in some communities have been allowed to return due to Caldor Fire evacuations.

"We're glad we are able to open a Vote Center at the Lake Tahoe Community College this Friday to serve those in South Lake Tahoe, especially in light of the recent evacuations" said Registrar of Voters, Bill O'Neill.  

The Vote Center is located at Lake Tahoe Community College 1 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe and will be open Sept. 10 from 1PM-4:30PM, Sept. 11-13 from 8:30PM-4:30PM and Sept. 14 from 7AM-8PM.

All drop boxes are open and ballots have been retrieved. Locations and hours can be found here.

"We recognize this is a very stressful time for many returning to their homes after the Caldor fire. We're dedicated to making this process as easy as possible for residents to cast their ballot in the recall election," O'Neill said.

Residents can call 530-621-7480 with questions.

phone email

Email and Phone for Fire Recovery Efforts

El Dorado County has set up an email address that allows the public to email any inquiries regarding fire recovery efforts to   

A central phone line is also available at (530) 621-5101 to serve those that prefer to call.

Insurance Companies "On Notice" to Protect Insurance Coverage for Communities with Wildfire Emergency Declarations

Commissioner’s Notices apply to residents living in or near Governor-declared wildfire emergencies in counties across Northern California

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced that he has issued notices to insurance companies alerting them to cease non-renewals and cancellations of insurance coverage for communities with wildfire emergencies – or risk being in violation of California law. His notices cover homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policyholders living near major wildfires included in emergency declarations by Governor Newsom.

Last year, Commissioner Lara protected more than 2.4 million policyholders from non-renewal or cancellations for one year following the largest wildfires in the state’s history. His actions covered those living within the perimeter of a declared wildfire disaster or adjoining ZIP codes under a law he authored in 2018.

These notices represent the preliminary step in protecting policyholders from non-renewal or cancellation following wildfire emergencies. Once each fire perimeter is identified, Commissioner Lara will issue a Bulletin identifying ZIP codes that will be subject to the one-year moratorium.  Commissioner Lara has already issued a Bulletin that protects more than 25,000 policyholders in Lassen, Plumas, and Siskiyou counties covered under Governor Newsom’s July 16 emergency declaration for the Lava Fire and the Beckwourth Complex Fire.

“Governor Newsom’s emergency actions during this wildfire season provide additional assistance for survivors along with triggering insurance protections under a law passed in 2018 to allow people to keep their insurance as they recover,” said Insurance Commissioner Lara, who authored SB 824 when he served in the State Senate. “I will continue to work with the Governor’s Administration to give people much-needed breathing room as they get back on their feet.”

The Department of Insurance is collaborating with the  California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to identify additional wildfire perimeters for any fires where there is a declaration of a state of emergency, including Governor Newsom’s July 23August 5August 10August 17, and August 30 Declarations affecting parts of Alpine, Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity counties.

Consumers can go to the California Department of Insurance’s website to see if their ZIP code is included in the current moratorium and to read his notices to insurance companies. The Department will update this web page as additional ZIP codes are protected in the future.

The Commissioner’s ability to issue moratoriums is a result of a California law he authored in 2018 while serving as state senator, after learning of insurance companies’ practices from wildfire survivors across the state. The law is intended to provide temporary relief from non-renewals due to wildfire risk to residents living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire disaster, even if they suffered no property damage. Those who suffered a total loss have additional protection from non-renewal under existing state law.

The measure is part of a larger solution for homeowners and wildfire survivors that includes working to increase insurance protections and increasing market competition to help protect consumers.

This is the third consecutive year that Commissioner Lara has implemented the moratorium law.