LAKE TAHOE FIREFIGHTERS SHARE LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CALDOR FIRE
Contact: Amanda Milici, Tahoe Resource Conservation District, 530-543-1501 ext.114
Eric Guevin, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, 775-815-0972
LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev. – As the community celebrates 100 percent containment of the Caldor Fire, firefighters are sharing lessons learned from the fight to protect neighborhoods in Christmas Valley, Meyers, and South Lake Tahoe in a new bilingual video and a special issue of Tahoe In Depth newspaper: Lessons from the Caldor Fire | Lecciones del fuego Caldor | Tahoe In Depth
Firefighters from Lake Valley Fire Protection District, City of South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue and other local, state and federal firefighting agencies noted that in the months and weeks prior to the fire, residents took important steps that helped save their homes: moving firewood away from homes, cleaning up pine needles, and preparing for a potential evacuation.
“It was inspiring to see that residents did what they could to help us help them. It really made a difference,” says Kim George, a fire captain with City of South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue.
In the new video, Kim George and Martin Goldberg, an engineer with Lake Valley Fire Protection District, share three key steps that residents can accomplish to help firefighters increase the odds of protecting homes at Lake Tahoe:
- Maintain Defensible Space:Clear the first 0-5 feet of your home (Ember Resistant Zone) of wood mulch, pine needles, twigs, and other flammable vegetation. Keep the next 5-30 feetLean, Clean, and Green by removing dead and dying vegetation, spacing trees and shrubs, and keeping plants well-irrigated. Maintain a Reduced Fuel Zone of 30-100 + feet by thinning dense stands of trees and shrubs and removing dead plant material, low-hanging tree branches, and other ladder fuels.
- Harden Your Home Against Embers:Reduce your home’s vulnerability to wildfire embers by clearing pine needles and debris from gutters, roofs, and decks. Place one-eighth inch metal mesh screens over vents, and install ignition-resistant roofing, non-combustible siding, and enclosed eaves.
- Stay Prepared and Stay Informed:Be prepared for an evacuation by registering for your and neighboring counties’ emergency alert systems, packing an evacuation Go-Bag in advance, and making an evacuation plan with your family, friends, and neighbors.
In addition to the video, Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team partners contributed to a special Caldor Fire issue of the environmental newspaper, Tahoe In Depth, to capture the events of the fire and to describe the critical role of forest fuel reduction—including forest thinning and the use of prescribed fire—and wildfire preparedness now and into the future.
“Prolonged droughts and extreme wildfires have become a fact of life in the Sierra Nevada. We just lived through it with the Caldor Fire, and we can improve our odds of withstanding the next wildfire,” says Kim George.
Learn more about how to prepare for wildfire at TahoeLivingWithFire.com.
About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team
The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) consists of representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, CAL FIRE, Nevada Division of Forestry and related state agencies, University of California and Nevada Cooperative Extensions, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the USDA Forest Service, conservation districts from both states, the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Our Mission is to protect lives, property and the environment within the Lake Tahoe Basin from wildfire by implementing prioritized fuels reduction projects and engaging the public in becoming a Fire Adapted Community.
For more information, visit tahoelivingwithfire.com