First of its kind defensible space software brings significant improvements to the entire Tahoe Basin

June 18th, 2024

PRESS RELEASE- Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Taken from the Tahoe Daily Tribune

TAHOE CITY, Calif. – With support from the Tahoe Fund and Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, every local fire agency in the Tahoe Basin now has access to Fire Aside, a software platform that makes defensible space and home hardening evaluations significantly faster to carry out, and risk mitigation recommendations easier for residents to implement. 

Fire Aside’s Defensible Space Evaluation software makes it easier for fire agencies and residents to conduct inspections by replacing manual forms and checklists with an interactive digital platform. Through the software, fire inspectors are able to share clear, actionable information with residents about their property, including photos of vulnerable items and associated risk levels. This helps residents receive information quickly and prioritize action items. It also helps fire agencies create home hardening prescriptions more efficiently, reducing over 50% of office hours that could be better spent in the field engaging with the community. 

“The threat of catastrophic wildfire is always present in Tahoe, so it’s critical that we do everything possible to prepare our community—and that starts at home,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. “We are excited to help bring a cost-effective, easy-to-use defensible space and home hardening solution like Fire Aside to every single fire district in the Tahoe basin.”

Photo Credit: Lake Valley Fire District

This basinwide expansion of the Fire Aside software follows a successful pilot in 2023 with the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District funded by Parasol Tahoe Community foundation, who expanded their funding to the rest of Nevada in 2024. A grant from the Tahoe Fund’s Smartest Forest Fund helped expand the software to the entire California side of Lake Tahoe.

“Funding for Fire Aside comes from our Tahoe Fire Safe Fund, which was set up to protect the people and properties of Tahoe,” said Claudia Andersen, CEO of Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation. “This is a great example of how philanthropy can step in and fill funding gaps to make Tahoe communities safer for everyone.”

Fire Aside has been successful in other regions, leading to a 5x increase in wildfire prevention actions among residents. In addition, over 81% of residents who used Fire Aside in 2023 credited the platform for motivating them to remove hazardous vegetation.

“We know that it’s not a matter of if there will be another fire in this area, but when,” said Fire Chief Scott Lindgren of Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District. “The Tahoe Fund and Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation partnership bridges private sector funding to local fire agencies, brings advanced technologies like Fire Aside software to residents, and is exactly the type of brain trust we need to take action where federal and state funding is not enough and insurers are fleeing our communities.”

Full article: