Smoke recently filtering into the Tahoe Basin from two fires hundreds of miles away – the Soberanes Fire in the Monterey area and the Sand Fire in Santa Clarita – brings the threat of wildfire to the forefront of our consciousness. We had a relatively good winter, but may years of drought have taken their toll and cannot be made up in one season. We have to remain ever vigilant or we could find ourselves not just in the path of smoke, but of flames.
In 2007, a neglected campfire in South Lake Tahoe led to the Angora Fire in which 256 structures were lost in the four-day blaze. As a consequence of that fire, some homeowners in the Tahoe Basin are having difficulties maintaining or acquiring home insurance from many companies. And all insurance companies are becoming stricter in terms of homeowner responsibility in the face of imminent wildfire threat.
One of the best ways to satisfy your insurance carrier and keep your home and family safe is to maintain what is known as “defensible space” around your property. Homeowners can take on this task themselves – it’s not difficult for most – or hire one of the many local companies who specialize in it. If you need names of some, don’t hesitate to contact your agent or our office.
There is a great deal of useful information at readyforwildfire.org that will help you become “fire ready”, from defensible space information to what to do with livestock and pets and even an evacuation guide should you need it. Hopefully, you will not but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
If you are concerned about insurance coverage on your home, please give us a call. There are a number of local insurance brokers who can get you coverage when a national chain looks at a land map and categorically denies you.