Health & Medicine

Several south Tahoe recreation sites closed briefly to apply pesticide

The U.S. Forest Service has closed several of its south Tahoe recreation sites briefly this week to allow application of pesticide to rodent burrows to reduce infestations of fleas that can carry plague.

The gates to Tallac Historic Site, Kiva Beach and Picnic Area, Valhalla and the Taylor Creek Visitor Center closed Tuesday evening and are expected to reopen Thursday morning.

The Pope-Baldwin Bike Trail will remain open, but signs will be posted where the trail crosses closed sites.

El Dorado County and state public health and vector control officials will dust rodent burrows with pesticide to reduce the risk of plague, an infectious bacterial disease spread by squirrels, chipmunks and other wild rodents and their fleas.

A dead ground squirrel found at the Kiva picnic area adjacent to the Tallac Historic Site tested positive for plague earlier this month.

After the dead squirrel’s discovery, a news release was issued and the sites were posted extensively warning visitors that plague has been detected and explaining what precautions to follow.

Any sick or dead rodents should be reported to El Dorado County Vector Control at (530) 573-3197. More information on plague in California is available at