Message from the Fire Chief

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The Lake Tahoe Wildfire Awareness Campaign is officially underway and the theme this year is “Tahoe Wildfire Ready.” This annual campaign runs from May through October and emphasizes the importance of wildfire preparedness and prevention. As we enter the third year of drought in both California and Nevada, it is imperative that we all take responsibility, particularly in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).

Living in a wildfire-prone area such as Lake Tahoe, and as we were reminded last summer with the Caldor Fire, we all know we need to take extra measures to live safely. There are many ways to prepare communities and properties for wildfire, including creating and maintaining adequate defensible space and hardening homes through altering or replacing the construction components.

Maintaining defensible space is an ongoing activity. Each spring, re-evaluate and implement the necessary recommendations.

  • Within the first 5 feet of the house – routinely remove all dead vegetation, including shrubs, fallen branches, grass, weeds, and flowers, as well as dead or dying standing trees or recently fallen trees.
  • From 5 to 30 feet of the house, remove every spring. Needles and leaves that fall after the removal period can accumulate on the ground if they do not create a fire hazard.

More than 30 feet from the house, do not allow fallen needles and leaves to exceed a depth of 3 inches.

  • Thin dense shrub stands to create more space between them. Depending on the slope of your terrain, shrubs or small clumps of shrubs should be separated from one another by at least twice the height of the average shrub. More distance is needed on steeper slopes.
  • Ladder fuels are vegetation that can help the fire climb up from low-growing plants to adjacent taller shrubs and trees. Remove shrubs and trees growing under the drip line of trees and remove low-hanging branches not to exceed the bottom 1/3 of the tree’s height.
  • Clearing debris and vegetation from the first 5 feet away from your house can make a significant impact and get you started.
  • Move your woodpile at least 30’ from your home.
  • Remove pine needles from the roof and roof gutters, and under deck areas.
  • Consider fire-resistant landscaping.

Take advantage of our FREE Defensible Space and Chipping services starting May 9, 2022. Please note the following guidelines when requesting chipping service:

  • Piles must be curbside and easily accessible.
  • The branch diameter cannot exceed 6 inches.
  • Pile must not contain stumps, roots, garbage, nails, lumber, or pinecones.
  • Pile must not exceed 30 feet in length, 6 feet in height, and 6 feet in width.

Chips will be left on-site and can be spread around the property for landscaping or erosion control, but not within 5 feet of a structure. If you choose to spread the chips within 30 feet of a structure, ensure that mulch beds are separated by noncombustible areas, such as dirt, rock, or pathways. Also, ensure that mulched areas do not contain highly flammable vegetation.

Waste Management is offering their Curbside Yard Debris Recycling Program, collection occurs on your regular service day May 2 through July 22, and October 3 through October 28, 2022.

Yard waste left curbside outside of this timeframe is trash and should be disposed of accordingly.

Ninety-six (96) Yard Debris collection stickers were mailed in late April to the billing address of residential accounts in Incline Village and Crystal Bay.


  • Collect vegetative yard waste in heavy-duty bags (any color, except blue) and tie them securely.
  • Ensure each bag does not exceed 40 pounds and is securely tied. Please see the note about safety on reverse.
  • Attach one Yard Debris Sticker to each bag.
  • Place the bag(s) with a sticker curbside on your regular service day during the designated time frame: May 2 - July 22, and October 3 - October 28, 2022.
  • Loose yard debris and bagged yard debris may also be dropped off at the Incline Village Transfer Station during regular business hours. All bags of yard debris taken to the transfer station must have a Yard Waste Sticker attached for free drop-off. Twelve stickers will be required for a standard pickup truckload (3 cubic yards) of loose yard debris. Customers must present their IVGID card.
  • Additional stickers may be purchased at Waste Management’s Incline Village office at 1076 Tahoe Blvd, Incline Village, NV 89451. The cost per sticker is $2.65. (Prices may increase slightly on July 1).

Also, remember to stay informed and sign up for emergency alert notifications. In Washoe County, register for CODE RED emergency alert notifications. It is up to each of us to be prepared before an emergency occurs. Make an emergency plan and assemble a kit. Also, consider taking a home inventory of all items in your household. In addition to CODE RED notifications, you may also be notified by the Emergency Alert System (EAS), tune in to KKOH-AM780 on your radio, this is the primary relay station for northern Nevada. Other emergency notification systems include the news media, and local emergency officials conducting door-to-door notifications.



Thank you for visiting our website, we hope this safety information helps you and your family stay safe and be prepared. If you have any questions or suggestions about how we can be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me at 775-831-0351 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Thank you,

Ryan E. Sommers
Fire Chief


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