(click here) to go the Living With Fire website for the Tahoe Basin.
(click here) to go to the Tree Removal Guide.
Bi-State Fire Commission Report
The threat of a catastrophic wildfire at Lake Tahoe is a top concern for TRPA and the entire community. To assist Lake Tahoe fire protection agencies with their obligation to review development plans for wildfire safety, TRPA has made a commitment to ensure project plans requiring TRPA review are pre-approved by local fire protection agencies. Before certain permit applications can be accepted by our agency or by our permitting partner agencies, Lake Tahoe fire protection districts and departments are required to pre-approve the plans for defensible space and wildfire safety.
Beginning April 14, 2008 all permit applications and qualified exempt declarations requiring TRPA review which involve construction, and all applications for Baseline Scenic Assessments, must receive pre-approval from the appropriate Lake Tahoe fire protection district or department. The only exception at this time is for all properties within the Sierra Fire Protection District and on USDA Forest Service property. State lands may be exempt in some jurisdictions but not in others. Maps of all jurisdiction boundaries are available at TRPA offices and the links to the right.
All projects must also be reviewed for final approval by the fire protection agencies.
Activities requiring TRPA review are listed in (Chapter 4 of the TRPA Code of Ordinances). Permit applications requiring fire agency pre-approval include:
- All Single and Multi-Family Residential Additions/Modifications and New Construction
- All Commercial Additions/Modifications and New Construction
- Qualified Exempt activities that involve construction
- Baseline Scenic Assessments
- Public Service projects involving construction
- Recreation projects involving construction
This initial step in the permit process is crucial to ensure rapid implementation of defensible space and to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire at Lake Tahoe. Fire agencies will be working hard to ensure the process for pre-approval is clear for all project applicants.
It's important for property owners to take "defensible space" measures
to protect their homes in the unfortunate event of a wildfire. There are
many simple things you can do to protect your home:
- Call your local fire district for a defensible space home inspection and/or tree removal permit for fire safety.
- Remove all vegetation that may be touching your home. Look for tree
branches and bushes that have grown up next to your house.
- Break up dense vegetation around your home.
- Clear all dead vegetation including tree limbs on the ground, dried
grass, flowers, etc. Many local fire departments have a free service to
chip your dead tree limbs.
- Consider leaving the "duff" layer of pine needles in your yard. The "duff" layer is the dark area at the ground level where the
pine needles are decomposing. The duff layer has low ignition properties and is a ready option to controlling soil erosion.
- Review the (BMPs and Defensible Space) brochure for more ways to keep Lake Tahoe clear while reducing fuel hazards.
- Keep an area of approximately 30 feet surrounding your home clean and
free of debris or dead vegetation. Everything in this area should be
healthy and green.
For more information about fire safety, contact your local fire protection district at the links to the right.