Contact: South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief, Jeff Meston (530) 542-6160
- Vegetation surrounding a building or structure is fuel for a fire. Even the building or structure is considered fuel. Research and experience have shown that fuels reduction around a building or structure increases the probability of it surviving a wildfire. Good defensible space allows firefighters to protect and save buildings or structures safely without facing unacceptable risk to their lives. Fuels reduction through vegetation management is the key to creating good defensible space.
- Properties with greater fire hazards will require more clearing. Clearing requirements will be greater for those lands with steeper terrain, larger and denser fuels, fuels that are highly volatile, and in locations subject to frequent fires.
- Creation of defensible space through vegetation management usually means reducing the amount of fuel around the building or structure, providing separation between fuels,and/or re shaping retained fuels by trimming.
- In all cases, fuels reduction means arranging the tree, shrubs and other fuel sources in a way that makes it difficult for fire to transfer from one fuel source to another. It does not mean cutting down all trees and shrubs, or creating a bare ring of earth across the property.
- A homeowner’s defensible space clearing is limited to 100 feet away from his or her building or structure or to the property line, whichever is less, and limited to their land.
- Homeowners who complete fuel reduction activities that remove or dispose of vegetation are require to comply with all federal, state or local environmental protection laws and obtain permits when necessary.
South Lake Tahoe, Calif. – Lake Tahoe’s fire departments are reminding people that it’s dangerous to dispose of fireplace, wood stove or barbecue ashes in improper containers and locations. Embers, often concealed in what appears to be cold ashes, can remain hot enough to kindle a fire for several days. It is recommended to wait at least 96 hours and/or 4 days before disposing ashes.
To safely dispose of ashes:
- Put discarded ashes in a heavy metal container, douse with water, and cover with fitted metal lid.
- Store the container outside and away from structures, decks, fences, wood piles and other combustible materials.
- Never use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes.
- Never put ashes in bags or boxes.
- Contact your local trash collection agency for their disposal recommendations after ashes have cooled and embers are out.
As the fall and winter heating season approaches, please remember to regularly inspect and clean your chimney. Soot and creosote are combustible materials that accumulate inside chimneys and create a dangerous fire hazard unless they are removed. Just recently, a lakeside home in Zephyr Cove was destroyed by an escaped fire due to a malfunctioning wood burning appliance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHJOMG51tp0.
If you have an older wood stove or fireplace in your home, please consider upgrading it with a more efficient heat source that can also help improve Lake Tahoe’s air and water quality.
Newer wood stoves that are EPA compliant have catalytic converters that pull many particulates out of the smoke before it is emitted. Similarly, gas stoves emit significantly less pollutants. Replacing inefficient wood heaters saves heat while protecting the Lake. Rebates are also available to help people replace their older, inefficient wood heaters and fireplaces. More information is available at http://www.trpa.org/permitting/homeowner-info/wood-stoves/.
Approved ash disposal can (photo courtesy of Meeks Lumber)
Other general fire safety tips for the home heating season:
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Test alarms at least once a month.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from space heaters and other heat sources.
- Never leave the kitchen when something is cooking.
- Keep candles and matches out of the reach of children.
- Extinguish all fires, even candles, when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Remember to call 911 for all fires, no matter how small.
People who properly can their ashes and follow these other fire safety tips can save lives and property. Please contact your local fire agency for more information.
Don’t miss out on these Water Conservation Workshops being held on the North and South shores of Lake Tahoe! These workshops are great for professionals as well as residents, and discuss a variety of topics dealing with ways to conserve water in the current drought situation we are experiencing.
Get inspired to transform your home’s landscape into a mountain oasis! This year’s theme is discovering the many approaches to Tahoe Friendly Landscaping. The tour will begin at the Lake Tahoe Community College Demonstration Garden where participants can pick up passports and a map of the landscape tour while enjoying refreshments and interacting with a BMP maintenance demonstration. While on the tour you will have the pleasure of viewing numerous houses from our local community that are shining examples of sustainable landscaping. Each of the houses will be hosted by a local agency acting as your informational resource in regards to these landscapes. Topics will include attracting pollinators to your garden, integrated pest management, sustainable turf care, habitat gardening, erosion control, defensible space, and gardening with native and climate appropriate plants. We would like to thank Keep Tahoe Blue, South Tahoe Public Utility District, Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy, City of South Lake Tahoe, and Master Gardeners of El Dorado County for coming together to make this year’s conservation landscape tour one the community will not forget.
Time: 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Check –in Begins at 4:15
This event is free to attend, RSVP is requested
Contact: Sarah Bauwens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-543-1501 ext.126
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- Tahoe RCD Records Largest Stormwater Flows at Monitoring Sites
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- Five Ways to Keep Fire on the Agenda – by Dr. Elwood Miller, Coordinator for the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities
- Additional Funding Secured for Johnson Meadow Acquisition
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