Now is the time of year when Defensible Fire Space becomes a hot topic….no pun intended. You may not be thinking much of it if you are using your home as a Lake Tahoe vacation rental. Regardless of if you are occupying the residence or not, you will want to make sure you follow these tips to protect your vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe.
The first thing to know about defensible fire space is that it is made up of 2 zones creating a 100 foot “barrier” of space between the trees, shrubs and wildland area and your Lake Tahoe vacation rental. This either slows or stops wildfire from spreading. The point of this is to give your home a good chance of making it in the event that a catastrophic fire threatens the safety of your home. This space acts as a buffer that is also crucial to the safety of the fire fighters working to protect your home and the surrounding area.
The first zone, known as zone 1, is the first 30-50 feet (depends on the California county) from actual structures. This could be a vacation home for rent in South Lake Tahoe, shed, deck, any type of building really. Within this first zone, you will want to remove all vegetation. This qualifies as dead plants, grass, weeds, dry leaves and pine needles. Basically anything that could fuel the fire. Remove from grounds, under decks, rain gutters and roofs. Once you have removed these out of zone 1, now it is time to trim. Trim branches so they are 10 feet away from other trees and your chimney. Also be sure to remove any that may be hanging over your home for rent in South Lake Tahoe. If you have any plants or bushes near windows, make sure they are pruned or even removed altogether. You may also want to move flammable items like swing sets, wood piles and patio furniture away from trees, bushes, shrubs and wood piles. In fact, moving any wood piles into Zone 2 would be your best bet.
Speaking of Zone 2, this is the space that is 100 feet out from any type of structure, building or deck. This is the area that should follow some of the same rules for Zone 1. The difference with this particular zone is you need to create both vertical and horizontal space between trees, grass and shrubs. Otherwise, keep grass at a max height of 4 inches. When it comes to needles, bark, cones and small branches, these are permitted to be at a 3 inch depth.
While our South Lake Tahoe fire department is great at responding quickly and the locals are very vigilant about reporting any kind of smoke, it is pertinent to do everything you can to protect your Lake Tahoe vacation rental from the threat of wild fire. For more information on this topic, click here.