Defensible Space Inspections and Chipping Areas





The District performs defensible space inspections to reduce the impact of wildland fires.


This season our Department will perform three types of inspections:


  • Free Property Inspections (funded by a grant): Property inspections help residents create defensible space around their homes and structures. The District will provide homeowners with a report of our findings along with educational materials to help them comply with local defensible space requirements. If you are requesting an inspection and are not the homeowner you will need to fill out an Authorized Agent Form.

NOTICE - Construction Defensible Space Inspections are not grant funded and have a cost recovery fee of $144.00. To schedule a construction, visit our bookings page

  • Educational Inspections: District staff will walk the neighborhoods and mail the results of their findings to homeowners. Staff will not come on to your property without permission so their surveys will not be complete. Therefore, the inspections are only educational and intended to help you identify defensible space issues that require your attention and give you an opportunity to comply with the law.

  • Mandatory Compliance Defensible Space Inspections: Homeowners can expect to receive certified mailings advising them of defensible space action needed to bring their property onto compliance with California state law. Homeowners are given a 30 day grace period to complete the necessary improvements. The properties will be re-inspected and homeowners who fail to remedy the violations may face a citation.

  • Real Estate Compliance: As of July 1, 2021, Assembly Bill 38 requirements pertaining to real estate defensible space compliance are in effect:

    • All requests for real estate/AB38 defensible space inspection shall be directed to CAL FIRE by going to

    • Scroll down on the left side of the page to “Request a Defensible Space Inspection” and click on “click here to start”

    • Follow the instructions and fill out the defensible space inspection request form and a CAL FIRE defensible space inspector will receive the request.

    • For any specific questions, inquiries, or complaints regarding AB38 inspections

      • For properties in Placer County - CAL FIRE Nevada Yuba Placer Unit (NEU) Defensible Space Phone Line: 530-889-0111 ext. 1024

      • For Properties in El Dorado County - CAL FIRE Amador El Dorado Unit (AEU) Defensible Space Phone Line: 530-708-2793

For questions about grant funded defensible space inspections, call 530-584-2321.

Click here for concerns of hazardous tree or vegetation management on U.S Forest Service Lands and California Conservancy Lands


North Tahoe Fire will begin accepting chipping request for the 2022 field season on May 1st. The Chipping program runs from June to October annually. We must receive a request for our FREE residential curbside chipping service at your property. Once the request is received, we will add your property to our list and provide the chipping service in accordance with the chipping schedule in area specific zones. Please be patient, we had record breaking chipping numbers last year, and anticipate the same this year.


Please read the following:

  • Submit a chipping request using the link at the top of these page.​

  • For questions about chipping, call 530-584-2322.​

  • The Chipping Crew is also a Fire Crew and can be deployed by District Fire Chiefs to fires in the area, or sent on assignments to out of area fires. This may delay the rotation.

  • Please submit all chipping requests prior to the week that the crew is scheduled to be in your Area. Requests received the same week that the crew is scheduled to be in your Neighborhood may not be chipped that week.

  • This is a free residential curbside chipping program to support property owners as they create defensible space and reduce vegetation that would be fuel in a wildfire. This program is not meant to be used by tree service and defensible space contractors. Large piles left by contractors will not be chipped.

  • All Piles need to be placed at the edge of the street with the cut end of the vegetation facing towards the street.

    • Vegetation cannot exceed 6 inches in diameter

    • Pile should not exceed 6 feet in height, 6 feet in width,  and 30 feet in length. Make piles longer, not higher

    • No pine needles, pine cones, stumps, nails, lumber, residential waste, or dirt

  • Chips will be left onsite to be spread around the property for landscaping or erosion control.

    • Chips cannot be located within 5 feet of any structure or combustible attachment

    • Spread the chips to a maximum depth of 3” to create mulch areas

    • Use noncombustible areas(dirt/rock/irrigated lawns) to break up large areas of continuous chips

  • In order to make sure your pile will be chipped in accordance with the Chipping Schedule, please submit your request one week in advance of the chipping schedule.

  • Through October 31- Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal (TTSD) accepts 6 free yards of greenwaste at their Eastern Regional Materials Recovery Facility: 900 Cabin Creek Road (between Truckee & Squaw) *Must unload their own greenwaste *Bagged greenwaste emptied *~$7/Yard for additional greenwaste *Includes(Tree limbs, brush, bark, pine needles, cones, dry grass, dead leaves, yard trimmings)

  • TTSD will also drop off a 6-yard greenwaste dumpster and pick it back up 5 days later: Call 530-583-7800 for pricing and info


  • 2022 Chipping Area Schedule:

    Area 1:
    Speedboat, Brockway, Kings Beach, Tall Trees/Wood Vista, Kingswood Estates, Kingswood West, Tahoe Vista, Tahoe Estates, Agate Bay, Carnelian Bay
    (6/1-6/7), (7/6-7/12), (8/10-8/16), (9/14-9/20)

    Area 2:
    Ridgewood, Cedar Flat, Fulton Acres, Carnelian Heights, Highlands, Dollar Hill, Dollar Point, Lake Forest, Tahoe City, Granlibakken, Sunnyside, Tahoe Park, Talmont
    (6/8-6/14), (7/13-7/19), (8/17-8/23), (9/21-9/27)

    Area 3:
    Pineland, Ward Creek, Alpine Peaks, Timberland, Skyland, Tahoe Pines, Tahoe Swiss Village, Homewood, Chamberlands
    (6/15-6/21), (7/20-7/26), (8/24-8/30), (9/28-10/4)

    Area 4:
    McKinney Rubicon Springs/McKinney Estates, Tahoma, Glenridge, Meeks Bay, Rubicon Bay, Tahoe Hills, Emerald Bay Tract
    (6/22-6/28), (7/27-8/2), (8/31-9/6), (10/5-10/11)

    Area 5:
    Alpine Meadows
    (6/29-7/5), (8/3-8/9), (9/7-9/13), (10/12-10/18)

    The chipping crew will attempt to chip any remaining pile in any neighborhood during the week of 10/19 to 10/25. The last day to make a request for the 2022 chipping season is 10/10/2022.


  • For questions about Tree Removal Permits, call 530-584-2344. These are currently only available through TRPA. Please visit their website at

  • A defensible space inspection must be completed prior to obtaining a tree removal permit.

  • To schedule a defensible space inspection to obtain a tree removal permit that does not involve a building project, and if for defensible space purposes only, click on the link below titled Tree Removal Permit Inspection. 

  • A tree removal permit is offered for defensible space purposes only. Permits are not issued for other reasons such as disease, structural hazards or view enhancement. If a tree must be removed for one of these other reasons, visit the link below for the TRPA.

  • The cost for a permit is $140.00 for each property.

  • TRPA allows removal of trees up to 14 inches (6 inches for lakefronts) in diameter without a permit.

Concerning Hazardous Tree or Vegetation Management on

U.S Forest Service Lands and California Conservancy Lands

U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Hazardous Tree Phone Line 

(530) 543-2759

For any concerns about a hazardous tree or vegetation management issues on U.S. Forest Service lands near your property at Lake Tahoe. 


California Tahoe Conservancy

Report an Issue on Conservancy Lands

(530) 542-5580 or submit inquiry by visiting the CTC website

For any concerns about a hazardous tree or vegetation management issues on California Tahoe Conservancy lands near your property at Lake Tahoe.