The 2021 wildfire season was one of the worst on record, with thousands of acres burned throughout the Western United States and wildfire smoke affecting millions of people in nearby areas. With the threat of climate change on the horizon, California residents need to be more diligent than ever in focusing on preventing wildfires from starting in the first place. Here are several tips on willdland fire prevention in Lake Tahoe and the surrounding areas.

Prepare Year-round

Even if you think it may not be wildfire season or that a wildfire may not happen in your area, it’s always a good idea to take proper precautions to prevent a wildfire from breaking out. In the fall, make sure to rake up dead leaves and brush that could spark in dry, hot conditions. This is a key element of wildfire prevention because, even in the winter, the risk of wildfires is still there—especially in California which often sees deadly fire seasons lasting well into December or as early as January.

Maintain Your Vehicles

Vehicle sparks or chemical leaks are often a cause of wildfires. Regularly keep up with vehicle maintenance and avoid parking on grassy areas or near dry brush, especially if your vehicle might leak oil or other flammable liquids. If you drive a larger car, the risk of sparks igniting a fire are greater. Make sure that your vehicle is properly cared for to avoid sparking a wildfire.

Seasonal Upkeep

Like we said before, seasonal upkeep like raking dry leaves or regularly trimming trees that could grow too close to power lines is part of wildfire prevention. Maintain your yard and outdoor space year round to prevent wildfire risks, and make sure to regularly clear air ducts or areas around your home that could spark a fire if unattended to for too long, such as dryer vents.

Always Check Warnings

Before doing any sort of outdoor activity always know the wildfire warnings from the area’s local fire department. These are easy to look up and can save your life. Before camping, check that campfires are allowed and understand the risks of recreating in any area.

Practice Safe Camping

If you do go camping, be responsible and proactive in preventing wildfires by understanding how to safely have a campfire. Don’t set up a campfire near any trees or dry brush, and make sure to completely douse the fire out with water or dirt before going to bed. Avoid starting fires in areas that do not have fire rings, and make sure to check all local advisories or regulations before you light the fire at all.