Rake, bag some pine needles in honor of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

Staff Report

The weather is shaping up to be perfect this weekend for raking pine needles and creating defensible space in honor of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day.

How to create defensible space on your property. <em id="emphasis-4676323b493e0c42259a811014026914">Provided / NFPA</em>

The Al Tahoe Firewise Community in South Lake Tahoe is hosting an event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, to honor the national campaign that encourages people and organizations everywhere to come together on a single day to take action to raise awareness and reduce wildfire risks.

Community leaders are making themselves available and are encouraging neighborhood residents to show up at 768 Los Angeles Ave., to pick up a “Go Bag” filled with defensible space and emergency evacuation information.

“The threat of wildfire is becoming increasingly prevalent and dangerous, posing greater risks to people and property, more than ever before,” said a press release. “What you do to prepare defensible space around your home matters, in the event of a wildfire.”

Tahoe residents are encouraged to rake and remove pine needles and combustibles, trim or remove limbs, trees and overgrown vegetation, move wood piles at least 30 feet from the house, and prepare an emergency evacuation “Go Bag.”

National Fire Protection Association research shows there are proven methods for preparing properties for withstanding the devastating impacts of a wildfire by defending the home ignition zone.

“You have the power to protect the part of the community that means the most to you and your family by eliminating vulnerabilities in the HIZ, particularly the immediate 5-foot zone around your residence,” the NFPA website says. “Whether it’s replacing wood chips with gravel or reimagining your entire landscape design, what you do on Saturday, May 1, really matters. Be ready to make a difference in helping to avoid loss and tragedy.”

With California and Nevada in drought years after a winter that provided about half the normal snowpack, defensible space around homes is that much more important.

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