Creating a Fire Adapted Community Network at Lake Tahoe

Marybeth Donahoe and the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team has some exciting information to share:  The Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD), together with program partners including the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and members of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team is launching a new program to motivate and help communities to take action to lower their risk to the wildfire hazard in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

 Supported with grant funding from CAL FIRE, the Tahoe RCD is building a Fire Adapted Community Network to educate locals and visitors about their vulnerability to wildfire and help them reduce their risk. In fire adapted communities, residents, visitors and agencies work together to take collaborative action to protect the community before, during, and after wildfires.

The network will engage individuals so they understand their wildfire threat and provide the tools they need to lower their risk. It will leverage educational resources, promote fire district services, and act as a liaison between community members and agencies, building partnerships between fire districts, communities, visitors, and agencies

The goal is to create a unified network of individuals who take responsibility and actions to reduce the wildfire risk in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Establishing fire adapted communities is the solution to protecting people’s lives and property and the environment from a catastrophic wildfire. 

 Why are fire adapted communities important? Due to over 100 years of fire suppression, the natural role fire plays in creating healthy forests has been altered. The accumulation of hazardous fuels has increased within the understory of the forests. The accumulation of these fuels, weather conditions, and human behavior could lead to another catastrophic wildfire event in the Tahoe Basin, much like the previous Gondola, Washoe, and Angora fires.

Informed individuals, neighbors, and agencies reduce this wildfire risk by reducing fuels and modifying human behavior. It is important for people to create defensible space around their homes and within their neighborhoods, and to take other precautions to minimize their vulnerability to the inevitable wildfire threat. Fire adapted neighborhoods work closely with their local fire district or department to create and maintain a fire adapted community. This network of fire adapted communities will reduce the threat to wildfire and create resilient, knowledgeable community members in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Be part of the solution! Spread the word about the wildfire threat and how to minimize the risk. Together we can make a difference! We need motivated individuals to partner on the efforts of creating a Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities. You can be a leader in your residential community and personal network, or help with an established effort. Here are some tips on how to get involved:

  • Request a defensible space inspection from your local fire district or fire department by visiting www.Tahoe.LivingWithFire.info[Tahoe.LivingWithFire.info].
  • Contact Marybeth Donahoe at the Tahoe RCD for more information about how to volunteer. Find out about upcoming workshops and trainings and get the tools you need to raise awareness in your community. She can give you the information you need to either be a leader or a member within a local fire adapted community. Call Marybeth at (530) 543-1501 ext. 114.

Catastrophic wildfire does not recognize boundaries or property lines. You can make a huge difference just by connecting with your neighbors and working together to minimize this risk for everyone. Be part of the solution, create unity and fire-adapt your community.

 

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