Lake Tahoe is one the most beautiful places in the world, so it’s no wonder I book quickly for summer family portrait sessions and weddings, whether with locals or weekenders. If you’re planning a summer portrait session in Lake Tahoe or even just a vacation, I say this with extra emphasis and in all bold: lock down travel insurance. And not just because we’ve lived through the horror of a global pandemic before and come out the other side a little bit smarter, but because summer is now fire season.
In California, the fire season peaks in the summer months and carries on through autumn. Never experienced a wildfire? Consider yourself lucky, and start preparing for your visit, as it’s always a real possibility that a wildfire can happen anywhere, anytime, and without notice. Even if there is not a wildfire in Lake Tahoe, because of the jet stream, we often have months filled with wildfire smoke in the air due to wildfires that aren’t even remotely close to us. While it is true that we had an abundant winter full of record-breaking snow, it is also true that the valleys of California, including Napa and the Santa Ana valley, ALSO had record-breaking rainfall, which is going to leave them in a precarious position come later in the summer when the overgrowth from the rains are hot, excessive, and very dry. Spoiler alert: not wanting to be outside in wildfire smoke is not a reason for a portrait session refund.
Here are a few tips for being a considerate traveler in Tahoe during fire season.