Fire Prevention Week begins Sunday; Professor seeks to interview South Tahoe residents

Miranda Jacobson

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Fire prevention is on the mind of University of Kansas associate professor of human geography Dr. So-Min Cheong.

Following the catastrophic fires that are still raging through the landscape of California, Dr. Cheong began conducting research that examines the status of the response and recovery during the increasing intensity of the fires.

In the study, response and recovery includes things such as the structure and hardening of homes, the coordination, and rebuilding. It’s reported that the results address knowledge gaps in response and recovery, and through these findings, strategies will be suggested.

On Oct. 7, Cheong will be conducting interviews with South Lake Tahoe residents who have experienced evacuation due to the fires. Anyone who wishes to be interviewed may reach out to Cheong by email at

This comes as Fire Prevention Week begins Oct. 3-9, and this year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” Starting with educating people on the different sounds smoke and carbon monoxide detectors make, and what they mean, the week of awareness should end with residents of the basin knowing what to do every time their devices go off.

The National Fire Prevention Association’s website has been transformed into a one-stop hub of information in regards to this year’s theme, with a FPW Safety Tip Sheet available, along with a Family Action Plan that can help any family plan step-by-step what they will do in case of an emergency.

The Nevada Northern Chapter of the Red Cross is urging families in the Tahoe/Reno area to begin to test their smoke alarms before the winter cold settles in the basin, and the threat of fires is actually increased.

According to a press release sent out by the Northern Nevada Chapter, home fires are more common in the colder months, as many people are indoors and cooking, using space heaters and other electric heating devices.

“We see home fires throughout the fall and winter for a variety of reasons, whether it be faulty furnaces, cooking, and issues with holiday lighting,” said Northern Nevada Chapter of the Red Cross Executive Director Mary Powell. “Installation of a smoke alarm is a small investment that pays big when it comes to protecting your family and home.”

Both the Red Cross and NFPA have tips on how to prevent fires in your home and stay prepared during the winter season. Along with placing smoke alarms on each level of your home, the agencies suggest having an exit strategy prepared prior to disaster, having a safe meeting spot a good distance away from your home, and making sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working and do not need to be replaced.

For more information about how to stay prepared during this fire prevention week, visit the NFPA’s website at

A trio of Tahoe National Forest firefighters use chainsaws to remove ladder fuels from vegetation surrounding homes in the Christmas Valley of the Tahoe Basin on Aug. 30.
Elias Funez/Tahoe Daily Tribune

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