Lake Tahoe is the center of Washoe Homelands, with the four bands of the Washoe radiating out from the center. Washoe Territory spans the border of Nevada and California, extending north to Honey Lake, east to Susanville, south to Mono Lake, and west to the Sacramento Valley.
Washoe people would trim and clean pinyon pine before pine nut harvests and burn the slash. Home fires were always burning for cooking, heat, and other purposes, so wood was always being collected.
Traditionally, Washoes moved seasonally, back and forth from the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to Pinon Pine and Juniper areas of the Great Basin. They burned in synchrony with their migrations: tending alpine meadows with fire at the end of the growing season, burning homesites with fire in preparation for their return the next season. They burned so food and medicine plants would be available in the right places at the right times. Willows were burned so that resprouts would be straighter with less nodes, making e for better baskets. Modern forestry practices and removal from their homelands have restricted Washoe use of cultural fire, the Washoe are currently working to get back to traditional land management. The first cultural burn to take place in decades happened in spring 2023. Washoe tribal staff also participated in a burn with Tahoe Fire and Fuels team in the Lake Tahoe Basin.