Wildfire protection measure heads to ballot

A measure that would tax property owners within the Truckee Fire Protection District $179 per parcel, per year, to reduce the risk of wildfires is headed to the ballot for voter approval.

At its Tuesday board meeting, the Truckee Fire Protection District approved of language for the measure, which will now appear on the Aug. 31 special election ballot.

If approved by voters, the measure would provide an estimated $3.7 million for the district, which would be used for the removal of dry brush, dead trees, and fire hazards; improving emergency evacuation routes and procedures; adding firebreaks where needed to help prevent or slow the spread of wildfire; reducing roadside vegetation key evacuation routes; improving early fire detection and emergency warning systems; and providing homeowners with easy and inexpensive disposal options for trimmings and green waste.

The measure must pass by two-thirds.

Plans in the measure would prevent money from being used outside of the area, along with accountability being imposed by an independent citizens oversight committee. An exemption to the tax would also be available for low income residents and seniors aged 65 and older. If approved, the measure would expire after eight years and would need voter approval to be renewed.

“Since 2016, I think more work than ever has been done around the Truckee area on private and public lands. We’re actually in the middle of implementing a $3 million grant from Cal Fire and the National Forest Foundation on fuel reductions around the Truckee area,” said Truckee Fire Protection District Chief Bill Seline during the Good Morning Truckee forum on Tuesday, April 13. “However, even at this rate, we just don’t feel like we’re at the pace and scale to really make a significant difference to reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic fire in our area, and the biggest barrier is not having a consistent revenue stream to do the work.”

Voters within the district will receive ballots in the mail at the beginning of August.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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