Officials in Lake Tahoe just announced the closure of three South Lake parking areas and beaches after discovering fleas that tested positive for the bubonic plague. Tallac Historic Beach, Kiva Beach/Picnic area, and the Taylor Creek Visitor Center will all be temporarily closed due to the infected fleas.
This news comes in the wake of a South Lake Tahoe local who contracted the plague earlier this summer. The infected fleas have been most commonly found on wild rodents such as ground squirrels and chipmunks.
The California Public Health Department is vigorously working in tandem with the U.S. Forest Service to treat these affected areas. As such, it is likely that these areas will reopen for the long weekend, but far from guaranteed.
For those living in Tahoe or planning to visit, health experts are recommending the following precautions to avoid being infected:
— Stay on trails
— If possible, leave pets at home
— If pets must come along, keep them from exploring rodent burrows
— Do not touch sick/dead rodents
— Report unusual observations to rangers
— Do not camp, sleep/rest near animal burrows
— Wear long pants tucked into boots to reduce exposure to fleas
— Apply insect repellent to socks/pant cuffs
For further updates regarding the reopening of these sites check out the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit’s Facebook Page.