Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a list of contractors that can perform defensible space maintenance?
Tahoe Donner does not maintain a preferred list of contractors. However, there is a list of contractors that you can view here. A “defensible space in the Truckee area” online search will also bring up many contractors. Be sure to ask if they are familiar with the TD Defensible Space Program.
What is my compliance due date?
Compliance due dates are found at the top of the notice of required maintenance. You can call or email to verify due dates at (530) 587-9432 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I need a permit to remove the trees?
Once the trees have been marked/flagged for item #11 by the Forestry Department, the copy of the Forestry/Defensible Space Inspection Report serves as a permit. If you wish to remove additional trees on the property larger than 4 inches in diameter measured at 3 feet off the ground, a tree removal permit is required.
What do I do with the material/debris/wood?
Tahoe Donner has a chipping program for all green material under 8 inches in diameter. Small debris and dead material can either be placed in your green waste bin or hauled to the landfill. For Tahoe Donner’s chipping guidelines, click here.
For green waste removal options from the town of Truckee, click here.
When will the material stacked in front of my house/property be chipped?
The Chipping Program has ended for the 2023 season. Operations will resume June 1st, 2024. Forestry crews will visit your street once every 2-3 weeks starting the first week of June and ending the first week of October. Peak season, red flag days and periods of poor air quality may impact crew ability to quickly address piles.
The three chipping crews work Monday-Friday on a rotational route. Your stacked material will be chipped as soon as possible.
Can I do the work myself?
You can do the work yourself. If you have any questions about defensible space requirements, please email email@example.com or call (530) 587-9432 to set up an appointment to walk through your property with you. After you feel the work is complete, you may request a reinspection by completing the online reinspection request form.
Can I get an extension/more time?
Extensions may be given under certain circumstances; you will need to speak with an inspector if you feel you need an extension. If you have a signed contract with a tree/defensible space contractor, your compliance due date is extended to when the contractor can complete the job.
What do I do with firewood rounds and firewood or lumber?
All firewood rounds must be split and stacked neatly on your property a minimum of 30 feet from any structure. Old, nuisance firewood/rounds must be removed from the property. Lumber should be stored in your garage (if you have a garage) or disposed of at the landfill.
What is proper brush thinning?
Wildland fires kept on the ground are not as dangerous as those that enter the crowns of the trees. Brush plays a major role in moving fire from the ground into the trees. Areas of contiguous brush can be an issue during a fire. There should be no brush under trees or within 10 feet of the outer limb of the tree, as well as no brush 10 feet of the structure or anything attached to the structure. From 11 feet to 30 feet, clumps of brush can have a maximum diameter of 5 feet with 20 feet of separation between clumps. From 31 feet to 100 feet, or the lot line (whichever comes first) clumps of brush can have a maximum diameter of 10 feet, with 15 feet of separation between clumps. This does not apply to short, green, well-maintained bushes and groundcover.
I have removed trees before; why do additional trees need removal?
Due to the 100-year build-up of an overly dense and fuel-loaded forest, there are many areas that require repeated management. Common practice means thinning a stand and revisiting multiple times to re-evaluate and assess the forest as it develops. This is usually done a handful of times, especially on lots with/near structures. Each time that an area is thinned means less thinning the next time an assessment is made.
How do I contact the Tahoe Donner Forestry Department?