It Takes A Community

It takes a diverse group of individuals and skills to properly prepare a community to survive a wildfire. These individuals include: roofers, construction workers, landscape professionals, community leaders, fuel managers, architects, planners, open space managers, insurance agents, realtors and others. Often the most important person is the homeowner. This program offers information and materials for your use, including promotional materials, articles, public service announcements and a display system that is available for use at community events, meetings, etc. Begin with the interactive program below and explore the additional program materials listed underneath.

Hover your cursor over each person in the image to learn about their role in helping a community survive wildfire.

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About Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team

The Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team (TFFT) was formed in 2008 to implement the Lake Tahoe Basin Multi-Jurisdictional Fuel Reduction and Wildfire Prevention Strategy. Members are a group of dedicated professionals committed to protecting life, property and the environment at Lake Tahoe through proper management of the forests to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire, thereby protecting communities, while safeguarding the exceptional natural resources of Lake Tahoe.

The TFFT utilizes the Incident Command System to share resources and knowledge, improve project planning, tracking, and reporting and to implement public education and outreach programs.  The TFFT is overseen by a Multi-Agency Coordinating Group which includes the seven Lake Tahoe Basin fire chiefs and eight local agency executives.  Download a list here. 

Partner programs of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team include the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities and the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership.

Partner and Supporting Organizations:

About The Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities

The Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities (TNFAC) is an organization of Tahoe Resource Conservation District in partnership with the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team. The TNFAC seeks to connect residents of Lake Tahoe Basin communities with the resources they need to work toward becoming fire adapted. In response to the growing wildfire threat, the TNFAC seeks to unite like-minded individuals who want to prepare their homes and communities before a wildfire occurs.

Interested residents can join with neighbors through collaborative efforts, learn about fuels management opportunities through your local fire department/protection district, and take comfort in work done to give their communities a greater chance of surviving a wildfire. Together, these efforts will change the culture of the community to one of fire awareness and preparedness.

The TNFAC operates with support from the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network and Cal Fire.

Fire Restrictions and Burn Bans

Below are links to current fire restrictions and burn bans.  This is not a comprehensive list.

 

 

Fire Public Information Team (Fire PIT)

Fire PIT Logo

The TFFT Fire Public Information Team (Fire PIT) is comprised of agency public information/education staff members within the TFFT. The primary role of the TFFT Fire PIT is to provide educational information to the public with regards to fire safety and fire prevention in the wildland urban interface, supported by public relations efforts through coordinated community events.

 

2016 Press Releases:

 

Fire Adapted Communities – Know Your Role!

Many people have a role in working toward becoming a Fire Adapted Community. Do you know yours? Click here to see the community that works together to create a Fire Adapted Community.

Community Programs

Numerous programs that can help you create defensible space are available in each fire service area of the Tahoe Basin.  Everything from free dump day for pine needles and cleared brush to a curbside visit by a chipping machine for downed limbs and trees may be available in your area. Contact your local fire agency for more information. See the fire district map here for contact information, or learn about the services each provides regarding defensible space inspections or tree permitting here.

The most important free help you can get is a defensible space evaluation and a copy of “Fire Adapted Communities – The Next Step in Wildfire Preparedness”.  Download a copy here or pick one up at your nearest fire station.  While fire services have an important role, creating defensible space is the responsibility of you and your neighbors.  And working together with neighbors is a great way to reduce the costs as you work towards becoming a fire adapted community.

  • Best Management Practices (BMP) Inspections
    • In California – Contact California Tahoe Resource Conservation District, 530-543-1501 or visit http://www.tahoercd.org
    • In Nevada – Contact Nevada Tahoe Resource Conservation District, 775-586-1610 or visit http://www.ntcd.org
  • Conservation Landscaping
    • In California – Contact California Tahoe Resource Conservation District, 530-543-1501 or visit http://www.tahoercd.org
    • In Nevada – Contact Nevada Tahoe Resource Conservation District, 775-586-1610 or visit http://www.ntcd.org
  • Curbside chipping – See the list here to contact your local fire agency
  • Defensible Space Evaluations – See the list here to contact your local fire agency
  • Forest Fuel Reduction – Contact your local fire agency or the U. S. Forest Service
  • Managing Vacant Lots – Contact your county or fire agency to determine ownership
  • Stewardship Programs – Contact the U. S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, 530-543-2600 or visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ltbmu

 

How To Join The TNFAC

If you would like to join the TNFAC:

Contact Evan Osgood at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, 530-543-1501, x114.  Evan can let you know if a group has already formed in or near your neighborhood, provide contact information and connect you with your local fire representative.

 

Important Tree Policies and Current Contractor List

A lush, healthy forest and a beautiful healthy lake are part of what make Tahoe a special place.  Trees need to be thinned from the forest to keep it healthy, but thinning trees the wrong way can threaten our delicately balanced ecosystem.  Even though you may need a permit to remove certain trees, the environmental and fire protection agencies have made sure the rules don’t stand in the way of creating defensible space and removing hazardous trees. You can also download the most current list of contractors who have attended a presentation of TRPA tree regulations here. This list is provided as a courtesy and is not an endorsement of any of the companies shown.

  • In general, 14-inches in diameter is the only number you need to know.
  • Tree diameter is measured 4.5 feet above ground, from the uphill side of the tree.
  • If your home is on the shoreline of Lake Tahoe or in a stream environment zone (SEZ), special rules apply and you should contact a forester at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) for advice.

Occasionally there are updates to the rules and where to get permits.  Please review the chart below for the most current information.

Tree Permit Details

When in doubt, please contact your local fire agency.

Prescribed Fire Information and Announcements

prescribedfire
In some areas of the Lake Tahoe Basin, prescribed fire is used by agencies to reduce wildfire fuels near homes. Prescribed fire is the intentional use of fire to manage vegetation. A prescribed fire project is well-planned, carefully orchestrated and involves the disciplines of fire ecology, fire suppression, forestry and public safety.

The important parts of a prescribed fire project are:

  • Training – Personnel have received extensive training and have been certified in prescribed fire.
  • Preburn Activities – Each winter a multidisciplinary team develops the “Burn Plan” for the upcoming fall burn season. During the summer months work crews start preparing the burn sites by creating firebreaks, clearing around high value trees and thinning dense pockets of brush.
  • Burn Day – The specific date of a proposed fire cannot be determined very far in advance. A “Go/No-go Checklist” is used to decide if a prescribed fire can be safely and effectively conducted. If the necessary conditions are not optimal, the fire will be postponed until conditions “come into prescription.” The illustration presented at left portrays a typical prescribed fire.
  • Tending the Burn – Prescribed fires are managed to minimize smoke production and maximize fuel consumption. Personnel closely monitor the site until the project is completed.

Prescribed fire operation have begun again in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Below are announcements of current or upcoming Prescribed Fires:

TNFAC Newsletter

The Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities publishes a monthly digital newsletter.  You can view past issues here, or sign up to receive your own copy via email.  Complete the form at the bottom of the page here.

December 2016 Issue:

  • Fire Adapted Communities Spotlight:  Skyland in Zephyr Cove, NV
  • Winter Prescribed Burning
  • Fire Safe Holiday Decorations Tips

November 2016 Issue:

  • Fire Adapted Communities Spotlight:  Whispering Pines in Incline Village, NV
  • Protecting Our Playground
  • Evacuation Tips

October 2016 Issue:

  • Fire Adapted Communities Spotlight: Alpine Peaks HOA in Tahoe City, CA
  • Adapting to Living With Fire
  • Funding Opportunities

 

 

 

Join Our Email List

FAQ

Q – Erosion Control BMPs and Defensible Space are both required, but how and when do I do both?

A – Storm water Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Defensible Space work together and you can save time and money by combining the work. BMPs are required to stabilize bare soil and create infiltration areas where rainwater is diverted before it runs off your property.  Since the 1960s, Lake Tahoe has lost around 30-feet of its famous clarity because too much fine sediment is washed off our properties when it rains.  BMPs for storm water and erosion control are steps required by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) for everyone in the Tahoe Basin.

Q – What do I do about pine needles and other dead material outside of the five-foot non-combustible zone?

A – Rake them in the spring and let them fall through the rest of the year. You must keep all pine needles and flammable vegetation clear within five-feet of your house or other structures.  Outside of this area, clear flammable vegetation to about a 30-feet radius from structures.  Local fire chiefs and erosion-control experts are in complete agreement that you can leave some pine needles or other mulch covering bare soil areas to keep the soil healthy and save it from erosion.  However, don’t let fresh pine needles build up or cover areas larger than 30 feet across.  In between areas of pine needle or wood mulch, maintain a non-combustible space. For more information, visit the Before The Fire section of this website.

Q – I know that fire has been a natural and important part of the Lake Tahoe environment for thousands of years.  What has changed?

A – Fire ecology is concerned with the processes linking the natural incidence of fire in an ecosystem and the ecological effects of this fire.  To learn about the fire ecology of the Lake Tahoe Basin, visit the Fire Ecology section of this website.

News

Keep up-to-date with the latest news on Fire Adapted Communities, as well as noteworthy stories of communities and their partners from around the country.

 

 

CWPPs, Reports and other files

2015 Lake Tahoe Basin Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Other Reports and Files

Defensible Space Financial Assistance Grants

Occasionally, financial assistance to create defensible space is available in select areas within Lake Tahoe fire districts. Funding priority is given to communities and neighborhoods that are organizing and taking action to become fire adapted. Contact your local fire district to find out how you can get involved and make your community eligible for future grant funding.

Currently active programs will be listed here as they become available.

Display System

This display was funded by the Nevada Division of Forestry and USDA Forest Service in cooperation with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension as part of a Washoe County project. It can be reserved for use at community events, HOA meetings, fire department activities and many other types of events. Please contact us for more information or to request it for your event. Note that transportation is not provided.

Customizable Publication Files

The following publication graphic files (created using Adobe InDesign) are available for you to customize for your area. Check out each publication to determine which one meets your needs, and then contact us to request the files.

Videos – En Español

  • Viviendo con Incendios…en el Lago Tahoe pending

Ember House Youth Activity

Ember House Photo

Activity Description

The Ember House is a youth activity promoting wildfire ember awareness for young and old alike. Built by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the Ember House is a scaled-down house front featuring vulnerable spots to embers, such as rain gutter with pine needles, wood shake roof, open window, unscreened vents, juniper bush, and an open garbage can. Participants are given 3 bright orange ping-pong balls (embers) which they toss at the house trying to land them into the vulnerable spots.

Hopefully, the parents are asking “Why do they have my child throwing embers at this house?” presenting a valuable teachable moment. This is a great time for The Ember House attendee to hand out the Be Ember Aware publication and discuss ember preparedness with the adults.

The Ember House is available for use at your school, community or fire station event. You can check it out for your own use with advanced notice, or when available, a program representative can be asked to participate. Note that when dismantled, the Ember House fits into a pick-up truck bed. It assembles quickly, but requires two individuals. The Ember House can be set up on grass or non-compacted dirt, using stakes driven into the ground for stability. When using the Ember House indoors, sand bags should be used in lieu of the stakes, but are not provided.

To request the Ember House or for a representative to participate in your event, contact us or call 775-336-0271.

Planning Group Contact Information

  • Planning Group Contact Information

 

Registration Form

  • Registration Form – pending

Displays

 

ITAC Display

  • It Takes a Community
    This display was funded by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Nevada State Office and can be checked out for use at community events, HOA meetings, fire department activities and many other types of events throughout Nevada. Please contact us for more information or to request it for your event. Note that transportation is not provided. Requests from outside of Nevada should be coordinated through your local BLM office.

 

  • Living With Fire – Lake Tahoe Basin
    This display was funded by a National Fire Plan grant from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Nevada State Office and can be checked out for use at community events, HOA meetings, fire department activities and other events throughout Nevada. Please contact us for more information or to request it for your event. Note that transportation is not provided.

 

  • Living With Fire – Fire Adapted Communities
    FAC DisplayThis display was funded by the Nevada Division of Forestry and USDA Forest Service in cooperation with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension as part of a Washoe County project. It can be reserved for use at community events, HOA meetings, fire department activities and many other types of events. Please contact us for more information or to request it for your event. Note that transportation is not provided.

 

  • Living With Fire – Lake Tahoe Basin Outdoor Display
    This display is now available!  It was developed with funding from the USDA Forest Service and Nevada Division of Forestry. It can be checked out for use at community events, HOA meetings, fire department activities and many other types of events throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin. Please contact us for more information or to request it for your event. Note that transportation is not provided.

Planning Group Contact Information

  • Planning Group Contact Information – Pending

Registration

  • Registration

Graphics

View the many promotional items we have available to help build awareness and promote action in reducing the wildfire threat. Many of the graphic files for these items are available for your use. Contact us to request a copy or to learn more about these items.

Banners

Display Ads

Posters

Planning Group Contact Information

If you would like more information about Lake Tahoe Basin Wildfire Awareness Month, please contact any of our planning group members listed below, or download the list here. LTWAM Planning Group Contacts 2017

 

 

Lake Tahoe Basin Wildfire Awareness Month

Lake Tahoe Basin Wildfire Awareness Month 2014 was held May 1 – 31. The focus of this effort was to promote homeowner and resident actions that help prepare their home for wildfire, rather than the traditional thinking that firefighters will protect our homes when a wildfire does occur. Often it’s the actions a homeowner takes before a wildfire that help it survive.   

Contact us to learn more about this program or visit the Tahoe Basin Wildfire Awareness Month page on this website.

Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Summit

The Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Summit has been held in previous years to provide information and tools to assist residents to reduce wildfire risks to their homes and communities. Since 2013, this event has no longer been held.  You can see reports about past events below.  Representatives are available to give a presentation to your homeowners association, community group, or organization.  Go to the “Contact Us” page now and let us know how we can help.

Presentations

We have a variety of PowerPoint and video presentations available for your use. Download the files here, or contact us to request a CD.

Sponsors

Lake Tahoe Basin Wildfire Awareness Month 2017 is coordinated by the Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team – Fire Public Information Team (FirePIT) and is a collaborative effort made possible with funding and support from the following:

Cal Fire · California State Parks · City of South Lake Tahoe · Fallen Leaf Lake Fire Protection District · Heavenly Ski Resort ·  Lake Tahoe Regional Fire Chiefs Association · Lake Valley Fire Protection District · Meeks Bay Fire Protection District · Nevada Department of Transportation · Nevada Division of Forestry · Nevada Tahoe Conservation District · North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District · North Tahoe Fire Department · South Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District · Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team · Tahoe Regional Planning Agency · Tahoe Resource Conservation District ·  USDA Forest Service – Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit · University of California Cooperative Extension · University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Workshops

We can assist in scheduling a workshop or presentation to interested groups on a variety of topics – just ask! Contact us to discuss how we can help at your next meeting or event.

Ember House

Activity Description

The Ember House is a youth activity promoting wildfire ember awareness for young and old alike. Built by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the Ember House is a scaled-down house front featuring vulnerable spots to embers, such as rain gutter with pine needles, wood shake roof, open window, unscreened vents, juniper bush, and an open garbage can. Participants are given 3 bright orange ping-pong balls (embers) which they toss at the house trying to land them into the vulnerable spots.

Hopefully, the parents are asking “Why do they have my child throwing embers at this house?” presenting a valuable teachable moment. This is a great time for The Ember House attendee to hand out the Be Ember Aware publication and discuss ember preparedness with the adults.

The Ember House is available for use at your school, community or fire station event. You can check it out for your own use with advanced notice, or when available, a program representative can be asked to participate. Note that when dismantled, the Ember House fits into a pick-up truck bed. It assembles quickly, but requires two individuals. The Ember House can be set up on grass or non-compacted dirt, using stakes driven into the ground for stability. When using the Ember House indoors, sand bags should be used in lieu of the stakes, but are not provided.

To request the Ember House or for a representative to participate in your event, contact us or call Sonya Sistare at 775-336-0271.

Living With Fire