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Preparing for Wildfire Season During COVID-19: What you need to know about preparing for wildfire during the pandemic

LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev. – Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, wildfire season is upon us and now is the time to prepare your home, family, and community. As the weather trends warmer and we prepare for wildfire season, fire districts and agency partners are tasked with adding an additional layer of safety preparations. Our preparations for defensible space inspections and emergency responses incorporate federal, state, and local pandemic guidelines.

Guidelines fire districts will follow include daily wellness checks, wearing additional (and providing extra) personal protective equipment, minimizing access to and from our respective locations, exercising social distancing, and staggering our shifts to minimize exposure. These practices are being followed and monitored daily at our workplaces and will be similarly implemented on fire incidents. During fire incidents, large fire camps are being replaced with smaller camp groups to ensure that proper social distancing is being implemented. Remote incident command posts may be utilized, and daily briefings will be conducted with limited essential personnel. These preventative measures will help to reduce exposure and keep our personnel and communities as safe as possible.

Fire district staff will be in many neighborhoods conducting defensible space inspections, and will continue to provide information about preparing for wildfire. Getting prepared now is necessary to improve the odds of wildfire survival and being prepared starts with making your house fire safe. Wildfire knows no boundaries. Make yours.

We understand the COVID-19 challenges and will work with you. Contact your local fire district to learn what services they offer, including free curbside chipping and defensible space inspections. Visit Tahoe Living With Fire for more tips and resources, including information on forest management projects in your area, and virtual events from the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities.

Please do your part and follow the recommended guidelines by CDC and your local Health District with regards to COVID-19 and help us by preparing for wildfire now.

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About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team

The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) consists of representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, CAL FIRE, Nevada Division of Forestry and related state agencies, University of California and Nevada Cooperative Extensions, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the USDA Forest Service, conservation districts from both states, the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Our Mission is to protect lives, property and the environment within the Lake Tahoe Basin from wildfire by implementing prioritized fuels reduction projects and engaging the public in becoming a Fire Adapted Community.

For more information, visit tahoelivingwithfire.com

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