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Protect Your Property from Wildfire while Protecting Lake Tahoe

TitleProtect Your Property from Wildfire while Protecting Lake Tahoe
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at
Date Original2004-08-17
Summary/DescriptionLake Tahoe Report Segment #80 - "Defensible Space/BMP's" (Air Date: August 17, 2004). Greg McKay from the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and Carrie Ann Capp from the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District discuss how homeowners should go through a checklist of items that need improvement for both fire safety and Best Management Practices.
SubjectWildfires -- Prevention and control -- Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
Best management practices (Pollution prevention) -- Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
LocationLake Tahoe (Calif. and Nev.)
Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
CollectionThe Lake Tahoe Report
Original PublisherLake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (
Electronic PublisherUniversity of Nevada, Reno - Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Ordering and Permissions InformationFor more information, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, or 775-832-4138.
Date Digital2005-03-14
RelationRequires Windows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionSegment 80: Defensible Space/BMP's Air Date: August 17, 2004 Anchor Intro: With the Waterfall Fire so fresh on all of our minds these days, defensible space has once again become a hot topic. but in the Tahoe Basin, defensible space has to be implemented with Best Management Practices, or BMP's, in mind. Shelly Purdy has details in tonight's lake Tahoe Report. ((Take Pkg)) ((Track 1)) The North Tahoe Fire Protection District has an aggressive defensible space home inspection program underway this summer. they work with homeowners and go through a checklist of items that need improvement for both fire safety and Best Management Practices. One key item of contention has long been the issue of pine needles. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency wants homeowners to leave a layer of pine needles on the ground for erosion control - part of the Best Management Practices program. The fire districts want pine needles removed. ((sot @ 2:48 Greg McKay, Battalion Chief, North Tahoe Fire Protection District)) "For years, we've had conflicting things about pine needles and what you can and can't remove. Now they recognize that the area is overstocked and you can achieve erosion control and water quality and defensible space. They used to think that those goals were mutually exclusive. Now with a little compromise, we can accomplish all three." ((track 2)) that compromise is to put a layer of non-combustible material such as gravel a width of 3 to 5 feet around your home. Next to that, you can plant fire resistant vegetation or use pine needles. ((sot @ 22:12 Carrie Ann Capp, Nevada Tahoe Conservation District)) "there's a concern in the basin about using pine needles for erosion control and the nessage that we're delivering is 3 to 5 feet from your structure and you minimize them to 1-2 inches in depth of fresh pine needles then that is a perfectly acceptable form of erosion control." ((track 3)) And it's also fire safe. Other important defensible space considerations are keeping tree branches at least 10 feet away from your home, keeping wood piles at least 30 feet away from your home, using irrigated landscape plants in your gardenand having the right type of roof. ((sot @ 3:50)) "Principle and foremost when we look at a residence we look at the type of roof they have. We strongly encourage a class A roof and about 75% of the roofs in our jurisdiction are class A. the highest percentage in the basin." ((track 4)) Class a roofs are made of materials that are non combustible such as metal, composition or tile. Fire agencies are recommending to all homeowners with wood shake or shingle roofs that they be replaced. With the Lake Tahoe environmental education coalition, I'm Shelly Purdy for KOLO News Channel 8. Anchor Tag: Free defensible space and BMP evaluations are available to every homeowner in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Visit our website for more information or contact your local fire district.

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