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Managing Vegetation with Wildfire Prevention

TitleManaging Vegetation with Wildfire Prevention
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at
Date Original2003-07-07
Summary/DescriptionLake Tahoe Report Segment #29 - "Fire Prevention" (Air Date: August 19). Rex Norman from the U.S. Forest Service discusses the practice of using small, controlled fires to prevent catastrophic fires in the Tahoe National Forest.
SubjectPrescribed burning -- Tahoe, Lake, Region (Calif. and Nev.)
Fire 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 Digital2004-12-06
RelationRequires Windows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionSegment 29 "Fire Prevention" (Air Date: August 19) ((Anchor Intro)) We see it over and over again in the catastrophic fires that blaze across the West each summer. More than a century of fire suppression has left our forests thick with fuel and ready to burn. In tonight's Lake Tahoe Report, Shelly Purdy shows the efforts underway to prevent a major fire from happening at Lake Tahoe. ((Nats - lightening strike)) ((Track 1)) Whether the result of lightening or careless people - there are more than one hundred fire starts in the Lake Tahoe Basin each year. Luckily, none of these fires has developed into a major catastrophe. To help prevent this from happening, fire protection agencies including the Forest Service are working on hazardous fuels reduction projects near Tahoe communities. They remove heavy accumulations of dead materials, thin overstocked areas and use pile burns to eliminate the debris. Ideally, the goal is to return fire to its historic role in forest health. ((sot @ 9:30 Rex Norman, United States Forest Service)) "This is where you try to mimic the natural movement of fire across the forest floor. The kinds of fires that were burning here for thousands and thousands of years that would burn an area like this maybe every 5-10 years cleaning the duff and clearing the debris preventing the density from building up." ((Track 2)) But the forest service can only do so much. That's why they're focusing their efforts near dense areas of homes. There's no way they can protect the entire forest - but they're doing their best to protect the local communities. ((Sot @ 14:17)) "It's a matter of time really a matter of time before fire is going to come to your neighborhood. So if we can create community defense zones with fuels treatments to slow the approach of fire, it may not stop it but it will slow it enough that the fire crews can get in and do suppression and protect the homes and then we?ve gone a long ways towards protecting our communities." ((Track 3)) With the Lake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition, I'm Shelly Purdy for KOLO News Channel 8. ((Anchor Tag)) Of course, the best way to protect your own home is to create an area of defensible space around your house. The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office has informational pamphlets about defensible space available to anyone who wants one. For more information visit our website at

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