Wildfires have been raging through the United States in 2018, with California having its worst fire year in more than 10 years and Nevada currently recovering from the largest single fire in its history. With increased temperatures, low humidity, and large fuel loads of dead shrubs, brush and trees left behind from the 2012-2017 drought, it is crucial to prepare now, before the next wildfire occurs.
To help residents and visitors in the Lake Tahoe Basin prepare for wildfire, the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) created the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities (TNFAC). TNFAC is a multi-agency collaboration, led by the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, that brings communities together with the resources they need to prepare for wildfire.
In wildfire-prone areas, fire adapted communities reduce the potential for loss of human life and injury, minimize damage to homes and infrastructure, and reduce firefighting costs by taking the necessary steps to prepare properties and people before a wildfire occurs.
Download the Lake Tahoe Basin Community Wildfire Protection Plan
Five steps you can take today to prepare for wildfire:
- Access | Ensure your home can be easily accessed by emergency responders during a wildfire by making sure your address is clearly visible from the street and any gated driveways can be accessed during an emergency. Contact your local fire district to ask if emergency responders could arrive at your home in a safe and timely manner.
- Built Environment | Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the exterior of your home, such as roofing, siding, decking, trim, windows and fencing. Check for weak spots on your home where wildfire embers could ignite the structure and remove debris year-round from gutters, roofs, vents and chimneys.
- Community Protection | TFFT partners work together to provide community protection to neighborhoods by creating fuel breaks on public land, utilizing prescribed fire and implementing strategies from the 2015 Lake Tahoe Basin Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Help the TFFT by reducing fuels for wildfire on your property and developing fire adapted communities in your neighborhood.
- Defensible Space | Remove all vegetation within 5 feet of any structure year-round and contact your local fire district about getting a free defensible space evaluation to ensure you are properly managing your vegetation to reduce wildfire threat.
- Evacuation | Sign up to receive emergency notifications, prepare an evacuation supply kit, develop a family emergency plan, and practice preparing your home, family and guests for an evacuation. Sign up to receive emergency notifications to your cell phone, home phone, and email through your county’s emergency notification system:
- The Fire Adapted Communities Program relies heavily on self-identified leaders to help organize their neighborhoods. Neighborhood leaders work with fire district personnel and the TNFAC to help distribute educational materials, plan community work days and wildfire preparedness block parties, and help keep wildfire preparedness on the neighborhood’s agenda year-round. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about becoming a neighborhood leader, contact Carlie Teague at [email protected]or 530-543-1501, ext. 114.
The Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities (TNFAC) participates in numerous community events around Lake Tahoe. Find out where TNFAC is next by visiting the events calendar at tahoe.livingwithfire.info/calendar/ or sign up for the monthly TNFAC e-newsletter.