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Fire Adapted Communities Spotlight  

This month, we'd like to highlight the community of Alpine Peaks HOA in Tahoe City, California. Jim Backhus, the neighborhood leader in Alpine Peaks has been spreading the word about defensible space in his neighborhood! Jim has been spending his time writing and sharing information about the importance of creating defensible space in his HOA's newsletter. He also has encouraged his neighbors to sign the pledge to "THINK FIRST" and directed them to educational resources to assist their mitigation efforts. By delivering these important messages to his neighbors Jim is "putting fire on the agenda" and helping his neighborhood adapt by preparing them with the information they need to create defensible space.  Congratulations to Alpine Peaks HOA for being proactive and taking the time to learn about the importance of defensible space. 

If you would like your HOA to learn about how they can participate within the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities, email Marybeth at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District at or call at 530.543.1501 ext 114. Together, we can make a difference in your community!

Adapting to Live With Fire

Typically when you think of wildfire, images of charred lands, large intense flames, and scenes of devastation come to mind. However, fire is a natural and essential part of Sierra Nevada ecosystems. For millions of years fire has been part of the ecosystem. Vegetation has adapted to its presence, some species depend on fire in order to germinate, and others have adapted fire resistant roots; that help the plant grow quickly and spread rapidly after a fire. 
Wildfires within California are consuming larger areas, burning with higher intensity, and taking longer to extinguish. Our warm, dry climate is also intensifying, expanding the window of our fire season. Drought in conjunction with fire suppression and high fuel loads create the ideal conditions for severe wildfires. Fuels reduction efforts lower the amount of fuel within an area and change fire behavior. By using methods such as thinning, prescribed fires, and pile burns fuels management teams are able to reintroduce fire to the ecosystem in a controlled manner; lessening the impact if a natural wildfire were to come through the area.
In addition, population is growing rapidly, putting strain on fire fighting forces, as well as on the integrity of these fire-dependent ecosystems. It is paramount that every individual understands the role of fire in maintaining the health of fire adapted ecosystems, as well as begin to adapt their own habits to prepare their properties, and families for the presence of fire. 
Read this blog post on Five Ways to Keep Fire on the Agenda. It provides insight on the importance and actions you can take to adapt your habits.  
There are 5 components to being a fire adapted community. In combination these elements can prepare your homes, families, and landscape for wildfire. Begin to adapt by learning what these components are and start applying action!
 Just Remember ABCDE :
A ccess - Good access for emergency vehicles
B uilt Environment - Appropriate construction materials that resist ignition
C ommunity Protection - Well designed fuelbreaks and safe areas
D efensible Space - Proper management of vegetation within 100+ feet of the house
E vacuation - Having a planned route creates more efficient and safe exit strategy
Interactive Field Tour Opportunity!

The Tahoe RCD and our partners are hosting the first ever Tahoe Network of FAC interactive learning exchange! This field tour will connect you to forestry experts, local fire districts, and agencies working in the basin to reduce fuel load and minimize the wildfire threat.  

Join us for 2 hours of fun-filled learning! This is a great opportunity to get some hands on experience with measuring forest health, learn how Fire Adapted Communities are connected to forest management, and meet some other members within the network! 
Weather permitting, the field tour will be held on November 5, 2016 , from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm at 1534 Bel Aire Circle, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 on the California Tahoe Conservancy lot,  adjacent to the STPUD building . Be prepared for weather, walking, and participating in forestry measuring activities. Experts will provide you with all the information and tools you need to assist in your backyard fuel reduction projects or fire defensible space. 

Space is limited and RSVP is required. Please  RSVP by November 1st.

To RSVP or find out more information, please, email or call 530-543-1501 ext 114.
The Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities is growing! 

Since launching the network in May, eleven neighborhood leaders have already joined and are working in their communities. 

We are looking for motivated individuals to participate as a leader within their social group or neighborhood. 

If you would like to volunteer or become a leader in the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities, email Marybeth at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District at or call at 530.543.1501 ext 114. Together, we can make a difference in your community!

Funding Announcement
  The Tahoe RCD recently received funding to continue the Fire Adapted Communities program. The announcement was made at the Lake Tahoe Summit by Assistant Secretary of the Department of anterior, Janice Schneider.
President Obama supported this decision by stating "A single wildfire in a dangerously flammable Lake Tahoe Basin could cause enough erosion to erase decades of progress when it comes to water quality... The charge to continue to make positive change is going to be in all of our hands, as citizens...Change happens because of you." See the full speech by clicking here.

The funding will go towards a multi year effort. Anticipated to be awarded in summer 2017, the funds will go towards defensible space inspector positions, rebates for homeowners,and refinement of fire district services such as chipping and green waste removal.

DIY -  Fall Defensible Space Tips

Cooler weather is the perfect time for these seasonal activities! 
  1. Plant trees. - Wait until the weather cools and fall rains have increased soil moisture.
  2. Remove dead trees -  Now is the best time to remove dead and dying trees, and dense undergrowth.
  3. Limb up tree branches  - Trees are less stressed after fall rains and less susceptible to insect attacks.   
Cal Fire has tips for all of the seasons. Click  here to see what they recommend!

Need assistance with these activities? Here is a TRPA approved contractors list for defensible space.
By completing defensible space, you prepare your home to withstand wildfire. Click Here for Defensible Space Tips! The best way to prepare your home is to talk with an expert. Schedule a FREE Defensible Space Evaluation with your local Fire District to find out the details for your home!

Click on the district you reside in:

North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District

Lake Valley Fire Protection District 

City of South Lake Tahoe - Please call Fire Station #3 @ (530) 542-6160 - Please note that South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue can not mark trees for removal.

Fallen Leaf Fire Department currently does not have a defensible space program.
Upcoming Events - Join Us!

November 5, 2016 Field Tour - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm - Learn about Forest Health and Fire Adapted Communities from the experts! This is an interactive learning experience so be prepared for weather, forestry measuring activities and walking! 

 Tahoe Resource Conservation District 

530.543.1501 ext 114 ||