Fire Safe Council gets early start on wildfire prevention |

Fire Safe Council gets early start on wildfire prevention

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

While winter’s snowfall puts wildfire out of the minds of many Lake Tahoe Basin residents, the Nevada Fire Safe Council will hold several meetings next week to educate residents ahead of the upcoming fire season.

The meetings will include tips on what makes properties less prone to burning in a wildfire and explain the process for creating a Fire Safe chapter.

By organizing South Shore neighborhoods into Fire Safe chapters, the nonprofit organization hopes to see better implementation of defensible space, which are specific measures taken around a building to help firefighters protect it during a wildfire.

A lack of defensible space was one factor blamed for the level of destruction in last summer’s Angora fire.

“We’ve got the funding, we’ve got the knowledge and we’ve got the ability to get this done,” said Jessica Mahnken, a Fire Safe Council project coordinator.

The council, working with basin fire chiefs, has about $1 million in Round 8 Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act funding to distribute to homeowners in the basin’s five fire protection districts this fire season.

The funding is designated to help property owners pay to implement defensible space around their properties.

“You’re only as safe as your neighbor,” Mahnken said.

There currently are three Fire Safe chapters in the Lake Valley Fire Protection District’s jurisdiction, but Mahnken sees room for as many as 20.

Although the information from next week’s meetings will be geared toward property owners in the Lake Valley Fire Protection District, everyone is encouraged to attend, Mahnken said.

The council also is moving an office previously located at Lake Valley Fire Protection District Station 5 to a former law office in the Tahoe Keys. Mahnken hopes the new office will be operating during normal business hours by the middle of next week.

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