Tahoe Resource Conservation District

What Can I Do?

House with Defensible Space - Photo Courtesy of Candice Towell and Reno GAZETTE JOURNAL - LWF-2

“Even with the best efforts of fire resources; numerous homes are lost within the wildland urban interface due to catastrophic wildfire. Having defensible space should be a priority for homeowners and renters for several reasons. Defensible space not only keeps your home safe from wildfire, but also your neighbor’s home safe.  Additionally, defensible space is significant for the protection of firefighters defending your home.” –Michael Schwartz, North Tahoe Fire Protection District Fire Chief

Defensible Space refers to the area between a home and it’s surroundings. Managing this area appropriately helps protect the structure from igniting during oncoming wildfire.


The main objective when creating defensible space is to slow and prevent oncoming wildfire from reaching and igniting the home. The below diagram and following video give tips for doing so. Creating effective defensible space doesn’t mean you have to clear-cut your property. Commonly, the work entails removing dense patches of brush, limbing trees, and raking pine needles. For more detailed information on creating and maintaining effective defensible space please refer to Fire Adapted Communities: The Next Step in Wildfire Preparedness provided by The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. 






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Free chipping services and defensible space evaluations provided by local fire protection districts are available basin-wide during fire season. To schedule an evaluation of your property, or request chipping services, please use the corresponding map and contact information listed (right). When requesting chipping services please try to make multiple small piles of limbs versus one large pile. Also, try to have all limbs oriented the same direction, with the butt ends facing the street. These small details make it much easier for chipping crews to do their job effectively and efficiently.









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Protecting your own home is only the start. Click below to learn more about how you can help protect your neighbors and community from wildfire threat.

                   How Can I Help Protect My Community?