March 15, 2016
Filed Under Lake Tahoe Community
It’s fire season. Do you know what to do?
Reduce fuels around your house, and neighbors to reduce the risk.
Research shows that how the house is built, the characteristics of the adjacent vegetation, and routine maintenance often determine which homes burn and which survive.
Most important, create an evacuation plan for you and your pets, and have several different escape routes from your home and community.
With record drought conditions in the West, preparing your home for wildfire is more important than ever.
Things you can do to become more fire adapted include:
• Talk to your local fire department about how to prepare for a wildfire, situational awareness before a fire, when to evacuate, and what you and your community should expect during a response.
• Contact your local fire department to conduct a risk assessment on your property.
• Create a plan to address issues in your property’s Defensible Space Zone, including:
o maintaining a noncombustible area around the perimeter of your home;
o managing vegetation along fences;
o clearing debris from decks and patios, eaves, and porches;
o selecting proper landscaping and plants;
o knowing the local ecology and fire history;
o moving radiant heat sources away from the home (i.e., wood piles, fuel tanks, sheds);
o thinning trees and ladder fuels around the home
• Develop a personal and family preparedness plan.
• Contact the local planning/zoning office to find out if your home is in a high wildfire risk area and if there are specific local or county ordinances you should be following
• If you have a homeowner association, work with them to identify regulations that incorporate proven preparedness landscaping, home design, and building material such as the recommendations from Living with Fire for the Lake Tahoe Basin.