USA — A $6 million grant announced today by the U.S. Forest Service will go toward reducing the risk of wildfire on private land around the Lake Tahoe Basin, officials said.
The grant will provide the Nevada Fire Safe Council money needed to support local projects that reduce fuels and mitigate wildfire risk in areas at high risk of catastrophic wildfire in populated areas around the basin, according to the Forest Service.
The plan is to attack density and fuel loads, consistent with the Lake Tahoe Basin Multi-Jurisdictional Comprehensive Fuels Reduction and Wildfire Prevention Strategy and Community Wildfire Protection Plans.
This funding furthers the Forest Service commitment to reducing wildfire risk for our Lake Tahoe Basin communities, said Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor Terri Marceron. We expect the funds to be used for a variety of hazardous fuels reduction projects and support the community chipping programs to enhance the efforts of the community to provide defensible space and reduce the threat from catastrophic wildfire.
The money comes from an emergency supplemental appropriations bill approved by Congress in October 2008 to support critical hazardous fuels treatments on federal, state and private lands.
The funds, more than $6.2 million in total, will go to the NVFSC, which will coordinate project selection and funding with the local fire protection districts. The NVFSC will provide a 10 percent match in the form of additional funding and in-kind services.
“Funding provided by the United States Forest Service will help us move more quickly as we try to make the Tahoe Basin fire safe,” said Andrew List, Executive Director of the Nevada Fire Safe Council. “This will allow residents and the fire protection districts and fire departments in the Basin to implement mitigation measures identified in community wildfire protection plans.”
Chief Brown of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District said, The local fire protection districts continuously collaborate on fuels mitigation projects around the Tahoe Basin. This additional funding will allow each of our districts additional support to get the necessary work done in a more efficient manner and to collectively be more productive as a region. We are very grateful to the United States Forest Service and the Nevada Fire Safe Council for this opportunity to continue our collaborative efforts and hope the spirit of cooperation continues in the future.
The Lake Tahoe Multi-Agency Coordinating Group is very grateful for these funds and promises that each fire district will use it wisely to help protect the lives, property and environment in this beautiful basin. We really appreciate the Forest Service’s support in helping us to fulfill our mission, said Meeks Bay Fire Chief John Pang.
The Forest Service is finalizing the grant award to the council with the hope to see project work with these funds beginning this summer, officials said.