02.01.02 - Implement Defensible Space on Public and Private Parcels and Utility Corridors


Proper management of the vegetation surrounding infrastructure reduces the threat of wildfire. Defensible space refers to the area between a building and an oncoming wildfire where the vegetation has been managed to reduce the wildfire threat and allow firefighters to safely defend the structure. If firefighters are not available, defensible space improves the likelihood of a building surviving without assistance. The Tahoe Fire and Fuels team works with private and public landowners to help establish defensible space.

Powerlines are a vital part of the Basin’s infrastructure but are also a major potential source of wildfire ignitions. The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team outlines a Powerline Resilience Corridor strategy in the 2019 Forest Action Plan. In this strategy, utility companies will address their obligation to remove hazards near utility lines, while state and federal land managers treat the surrounding forest. The partnership of land managers and utility companies is creating new efficiencies by having crews treat public lands at the same time as they treat utility corridors. Among other benefits, this work will reduce the risk of ignitions originating from powerlines and facilitate fire suppression while increasing the forest’s structural diversity. (Forest Action Plan)

Projects include:

  • Creating and maintaining defensible space on private and public parcels
  • Performing and funding defensible space inspections
  • Educating the public and creating resources for defensible space inspections
  • Reducing forest fuels under and adjacent to utility line corridors
  • Undergrounding of utility lines

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