Final vouchers go to some in South Lake Tahoe wildfire area |

Final vouchers go to some in South Lake Tahoe wildfire area

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE ” Nearly two years after a wildfire destroyed 254 homes in South Lake Tahoe, a final round of vouchers is going out to help residents revegetate their properties.

About 184 vouchers totaling $250,000 are being mailed to residents in the burn area, said Carrie Reiter, administrative director of the Community Disaster Resource Center.

The CDRC already has given out about $600,000 to Angora fire survivors, and the last round of vouchers will bring the total up to more than $850,000, Reiter said.

This also marks the end of the center, which will close its doors by the end of July.

Each voucher is worth $1,358 and is for revegetation.

“This is their opportunity to buy trees and shrubs to help with the area’s environmental needs,” Reiter told the Tahoe Daily Tribune. “It’s an environmental investment, and not just for aesthetics.”

Residents are facing a July 6 deadline to take the vouchers to one of two local nurseries.

The CDRC is urging residents to use native vegetation for the best results, and for neighbors to work together to replant neighborhood forests.

In January, University of California natural resources advisor Susan Kocher and landscape architect Brett Long began meeting with residents interested in replanting the area.

Through the meetings, the two came up with recommended vegetation plans for different zones of a property.

For example, suggested plants in the defensible space zone include mountain ash, bitter cherry or mountain maple. Blue flax or native lupine are recommended in the noncombustible zone.

The June 2007 blaze burned more than 3,000 acres and caused $140 million in property damage in South Lake Tahoe.

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