Items to be completed around your residence and around your property can be found below. For more detailed instruction on each inspected item, view the fire safety and prevention rules (4.21).

The Tahoe Donner Forestry Department may require homeowners to perform defensible space and/or forest health maintenance at any time upon the occurrence of heavy fuel loads, dead or infested trees and any item that could lead to deficient fire safety/forest health standards.

Items to be Completed Around Your Residence

  • Pine needles must be removed from the roof of all structures.
  • Pine needles on the ground must be removed within 10 feet of all structures.
  • Limbs and branches must be removed from within 10 feet of the chimney, roof and eaves.
  • The chimney must have an approved spark arrestor.
  • Ten feet of clearance required around the propane tank.
  • Firewood and lumber must be stacked 30 feet away from the residence by law. However, firewood may be stacked next to or within 30 feet of a structure if it is completely covered with a high-quality heavy tarp.
    • Old, unused or decomposed (nuisance) firewood must be removed.
    • Firewood rounds cannot be left on the property; The wood must be split and stacked neatly.
    • Wood may not be stacked on a vacant lot.
  • The address of the residence must be clearly visible.
  • Brush must be removed from within 10ft of the structure.

Items to be Completed Around Your Entire Property

  • All dry, flammable vegetation and woody debris between 1/2 inch and 12 inches in diameter must be removed. This includes twigs, cones, bark, and fallen branches.
  • Dead and/or beetle-infested trees must be removed.
  • Areas of contiguous brush must be broken-up. Brush must be removed from under tree limbs.
  • Excessively dense tree cover must be thinned.
  • Remove the lower branches to create six feet of clearance from the ground to the lowest point of the branch on trees over 15 feet tall. On shorter trees, remove the lower branches to 1/3 the height of the tree.
  • For any tree(s) removed from the property, the stumps shall be as low as practical, but maximum stump height shall not exceed 2 inches for trees less than 12 inches in diameter and 12 inches for trees greater than 12 inches in diameter.
  • All dead grasses cut to a height of six inches or less.

Protecting the Forest

In addition to protecting your home, defensible space is also about improving the health of the forest to reduce the threat of fire. The Forestry Department works to create a healthy forest in the common areas of Tahoe Donner. This is done by:

  • Creating and maintaining fuel reduction zones in strategic areas
  • Removing brush and planting trees to establish a forest on the landscape
  • Masticating (mowing) brush from around trees to increase the growth of the forest, change the arrangement of fuels and remove ladder fuels (fuels that provide vertical continuity allowing fire to spread up into tree crowns)
  • Creating a mosaic of practices to lessen the impacts on the human eye and encourage different wildlife species
  • Thinning dense forest stands through commercial logging operations or by hand crews
  • Maintaining the seasonal road system in the western portion of Tahoe Donner to lessen erosion and allow access by firefighting crews