Weekly Tip #7: Create a Non-Combustible Zone

May 25th, 2020

Read the original newsletter here.

Because we won't be out in the community for the next several weeks, the Tahoe Network is sending out weekly tips on how to prepare for wildfire inside your home. Stay tuned, we only have three weekly tips left!

This Week's Tip: Create a Non-Combustible Zone

The first 5 feet adjacent to your home is known as the non-combustible zone. As the name suggests, it should contain no combustible materials that could ignite your home during a wildfire.

Now that the snow has melted, it's time to start maintaining this zone and implementing projects that increase the chance of your home surviving a wildfire.

Routine Maintenance

To start, remove combustible materials:

❑ Fallen leaves and pine needles

❑ Unwanted weeds

❑ Dead branches

❑ Firewood


If you have the time and budget, remove and replace combustible landscaping.


ⓧ Wood, bark, or rubber mulches
ⓧ Wood landscape timbers or boards
ⓧ Wood trellises
ⓧ Combustible shrubs and trees*
ⓧ Shrubs under first-story windows, under soffit vents, in front of foundation vents, or in corners

Instead, try:

✓ Gravel, rock, or brick
✓ Irrigated lawn
✓ Metal trellises
✓ Low-growing, irrigated herbaceous plants under 18 inches**

*Combustible shrubs include native plants (big sagebrush, bitterbrush, greenleaf manzanita, snowbrush, rabbitbrush, huckleberry oak, pine and fir) and ornamental plants (juniper, mugo pine, arborvitae, scotch broom and large exotic grasses).

**Low-growing, irrigated herbaceous plants recommended for the Lake Tahoe Basin include lawn, clover, flowers, some ground covers and succulents.

Learn more about managing native plants here .

Upcoming Events

Although it is unlikely we will hold any in-person events in the near future, stay tuned for a virtual neighborhood leader meet-and-greet the first week of June. More details will be released soon.

Learn more about becoming a neighborhood leader here.

Thank you for reading our weekly tip, we hope you feel more prepared for wildfire!