Free defensible space for homeowners seeking fire-resistant roofs

Free defensible space for homeowners seeking fire-resistant roofs

11 July 2008

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USA — The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, thanks to a grant from the Nevada Division of Forestry, is offering a wood roof mitigation grant that will offer homeowners located within the boundaries of the district the opportunity and incentive to switch out their wood shingle roof with a Class-A non-combustible roof.
In return for switching to a Class-A non-combustible roof, the homeowner would be given one full day (nine hours) of a three-member fuels reduction crew free of charge to assist with and create 100 feet of defensible space around his or her home.

To be eligible, the homeowner must apply prior to replacing their roof; complete an official NLTFPD defensible space evaluation and comply with the addressing and vent screening components of the district’s defensible space evaluation.

Norb Szczurek, NLTFPD fuels division chief, said the incentive program is important because roofing-type often causes homes to burn in a wildland fire situation.

“A high percentage of homes that burn down in wildland fires are because of roofing material on the home,” Szczurek said. “With wood shingles you’re putting a part of a tree on top of the home that is available fuel for embers that land on homes.”

He said Class-A roofing, which has been around for a long time, is preferable because it is fire-resistant.

Tree removal will generally be limited to removing small diameter trees not immediately adjacent to the residence, limbing trees, removing brush, and moving combustible materials away from the residence. The homeowner is responsible for obtaining a tree removal permit after completing the defensible space evaluation.

This offer is limited to the first 30 homeowners to apply and complete all required conditions.

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