US Forest Service records show that, over the last 35 years, over 150 fires burned in or within a two-mile radius of Tahoe Donner. Defensible space is your property’s frontline defense against wildfire. Creating and maintaining defensible space around your home can dramatically increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire and improve the safety of firefighters defending your property. One of the goals of the Tahoe Donner Forestry Department is to help homeowners bring their properties into compliance with state, local and association fire safety standards.
The above photos were taken from the same spot roughly one century apart in the Feather River Canyon, which is the area the Dixie Fire accelerated through in 2021 given the overly dense tree cover. Forests in the Tahoe area are similarly over crowded, posing a major wildfire hazard.
A fuel reduction zone is a zone created through the use of strategic vegetation thinning that mimics what would occur from a natural wildfire cycle (fuel reduction efforts clearly did not happen in the Feather River Canyon given the crowded forest stand in 1993). Fuel reduction zones are critical in helping prevent the rapid spread of wildfire, but they also contribute to ongoing forest restoration efforts that preserve important natural resources and biodiversity in the landscape, creating healthier and stronger forests that more closely resemble a “natural” state.
Similarly, creating defensible space to protect your property’s structure(s) means your home has a better chance of surviving a wildfire. To see defensible space in action, watch the following video on defensible space and structure protection during the 2021 Dixie Fire. For lessons learned from the Caldor Fire, click here.
Check out these insurance companies that give discounts for maintaining defensible space and being a part of a Firewise Community.
The Forestry Department assesses each property every six years for defensible space compliance. Areas subject to inspection in 2022 include properties located on Northwoods Boulevard, Hansel Avenue, Pathway Avenue, Greenleaf Way, Telemark Place, Schussing Way, St. Bernard Drive, Brookstone Drive, Falcon Point Place, Lausanne Way, Bennett Flat Road, Hillside Drive, St. Croix Way, Gyrfalcon Street, Solvang Way, Peregrine Drive, and Staghorn Drive.
Defensible space inspections were conducted on these properties in the fall of 2021. Notices of required defensible space work will be sent to property owners in winter 2022.
If your property is not in this year’s defensible space cycle but you would like to learn how you could improve your defensible space, please email Tahoe Donner Forestry and request an out-of-cycle inspection.
Tahoe Donner Forestry Department | (530) 587-9432 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tahoe Donner Chipping program operates from June through October. Eligible material may be placed curbside for Tahoe Donner chipping crews to remove. This is done street by street on a 2- or 3-week visitation cycle. No permit/tag is required. Please abide by the eligible chipping requirements.
Green waste disposal is also available through green waste dumpsters, green waste carts, self-hauls and contractor hauls. Many of these programs do not operate during winter. To learn more about the most up-to-date green waste disposal options, click here.
To view green waste options in the 2021 Defensible Space Program Brochure, click here.
Need a Contractor or Local Business?
Looking for help? Check out our business directory for local businesses, including defensible space services, that serve the Tahoe Donner community.