Fire Adapted Communities Program Trains Tahoe Residents to Prepare for Wildfire - Community Educational Events Announced
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada – The Tahoe Resource Conservation District, a member of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team, is encouraging homeowners and residents at Lake Tahoe to participate in the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Community program in 2024. The initiative focuses on creating Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) through a multifaceted approach that includes physical measures like home hardening and defensible space, as well as prevention, planning and education.
“Creating a Fire Adapted Community with your neighbors empowers property owners to play a role in changing the narrative around preventing property loss and increasing safety,” said Leona Allen, Fire Adapted Community and Firewise Leader. “The process allows neighbors to enhance the health of their environment, protect our neighborhoods, and build stronger community bonds.”
As a resident within the Lake Tahoe Basin, safeguarding your home against potential fire hazards is crucial. The FAC program, facilitated by the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT), operates on a neighborhood scale, coordinating efforts to prepare people and property for wildfire. The TFFT improves forest health and our community’s safety by implementing priority fuel reduction projects such as thinning trees and conducting prescribed burns throughout the region.
“This work to protect communities cannot be completed by local agencies and fire districts alone. Significant community engagement and volunteerism is crucial within Fire Adapted Communities,” said Michelle McLean, Outreach Coordinator, Tahoe RCD.
Neighborhood Leaders play a pivotal role in FAC, rallying their neighbors to work together in preparing for wildfire. Their activities include;
- Distributing wildfire-related educational materials,
- Planning a defensible space neighborhood workday,
- Preparing an evacuation plan,
- Organizing a home hardening day to create clear 0–5-foot ember-resistant zones around houses; remove debris from roofs and under decks; enclose eaves; replace vents with 1/8-inch screening; replace the combustible portion of the fence near the home with a noncombustible section and more.
The ultimate objective is to unite, educate, and empower neighborhoods, fostering a culture of wildfire preparedness within our Tahoe communities.
To encourage community involvement, several events are scheduled:
- May 4th : Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (everywhere, all day)
- May 18th: Wildfire Safety Expo at South Tahoe Middle School (11-3pm)
- April 27th: South Shore Earth Day Festival at Lake Tahoe Community Center (10-3pm)
- June 1st: Wildfire Community Preparedness Event at North Tahoe Event Center (9-12pm)
by phone at (530) 543-1501 ext. 114.
Given the history of wildfires within the Lake Tahoe Basin, and the ongoing risk of future fires, it is imperative for communities to collaborate and work together. The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team continues to facilitate collaborative efforts to enhance community resilience.
“With all the changing dynamics relating to individual fears of fire, fire prevention, home hardening, defensible space, there are so many reasons to embrace this concept, “said Kim George, Fire Marshal, South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue, “We can no longer be spectators with wildfire prevention; we are all responsible to be participants in being fire proactive to keep our community safe.”