Chief’s Corner: Wildland fire outlook

Allen Riley
Chief’s Corner

As we start to see and feel the change in weather, it is time to prepare for wildfire season.

A great ski season in the Sierra left us with the snowpack at 200% of average in May. It is expected that this long, wet spring will postpone the fire season here in the High Sierra, while the foothill communities will get an unusually high fuel load from the abundant spring moisture. While the fire fuels in the foothills are already curing, it is expected that the live fuels in the high country will not peak until mid-July.

Therefore, we can expect to see significant Fire Potential in many areas by late July or August. For more fire weather forecast information, visit the Northern California Geographic Coordination Center website at:

The local fire departments rely on the homeowners and the public to help prevent life and property loss from wild fires. We accomplish this through public cooperation and enforcement of California’s defensible space laws. The local fire departments will be out doing defensible space inspections in June and July, and we encourage you to do your yard cleanup sooner than later. These laws are designed to help firefighters protect your home during a wildland fire and most importantly, help your home stand alone when firefighting resources are limited. For more information on defensible space visit the Ready for Wildfire website at:

The local fire departments rely on the homeowners and the public to help prevent life and property loss from wild fires.

For those landowners of vacant lots, Placer County has enacted a “Hazardous Vegetation Abatement on Unimproved Parcels” program. The purpose of the program is to ensure that the owners of these lots do their part in hazardous vegetation abatement. The ordinance (Placer County Code Chapter 9, Article 9.32, Part 4) allows the County of Placer to authorize the abatement. The code can be viewed at:

The Eastern Regional Landfill works with all the local agencies with Community Green Waste Drop Off Events, and some of the fire districts offer a chipping program. Contact your local fire department to find more information for your area. If you are taking down adult sized trees, keep in mind that you may be required to obtain a permit from the county and your local fire department; if you live in the Tahoe Basin, from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Our goal is to keep our community lean, clean and green. We want to increase public awareness so that we have another fun, smoke-free summer.

So, please get your properties in compliance early this year and maintain it until the fall moisture arrives.

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