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Students to participate in fire awareness day

North Tahoe Middle School students are about to learn firsthand the importance of forest health and fire awareness.

Sixth- and seventh-grade students at North Tahoe Middle School will participate in an event with the North Tahoe Fire Department, the California State Parks, and Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships to bring together their studies in forest health and fire awareness today at Burton State Park.

“It’s kind of an end-of-the-year culmination activity with all the sixth and seventh graders rotating through stations,” said Jan Ellis, SWEP project director.



The North Tahoe Fire Department, State Parks, and SWEP will run different activity stations, including a wood chipper for the defensible space team, solar car competition, orienteering, and a respiration and heart lab.

Ellis discussed how the community would be involved in the day’s activities by



bringing in the students’ parents.

“Parents have been invited to help with rotation between stations but also it’s a way to get them there and get them exposed to the information,” she said.

Students will learn about and promote defensible space, which Ellis explained is

“for us to be looking at how to protect ourselves from catastrophic fires by creating space around homes.” The fire department will provide free chipping service to clear dead limbs and brush from around Tahoe buildings in order to promote defensible spaces.

“I love living in Tahoe because of the mountains, the lake and the trees. But our area is in great danger of having a super wildfire that would destroy everything in its path ” for generations to come. We have many dead and dying trees and lots of overgrown bushes, making the spread of fire easier and the fighting of it much more difficult. This is why I think we should have a prescribed burn in Burton Creek.”

” Mariah Dodge, North Tahoe Middle School, in a letter to Nancy Lozano.

“Nobody needs a catastrophic fire. To help prevent a catastrophe, we must act now by doing what nature would do. We must protect our homes, but we must also allow nature to thin the old forests and replenish itself with new, healthy growth. The force of nature is strong and will sooner or later try to bounce back and even things out. To prevent a big catastrophic bounce, we should take steps to keep the soil healthy and the forests thinned of dead matter and overgrowth. Controlled burns would allow this to happen while protecting our homes at the same time”

” Ryan Collins, North Tahoe Middle School, in a letter to Nancy Lozano.


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