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Thinning Tahoe Basin Forests: A Costly Plan

Land use regulators fear efforts to thin forests in the Lake Tahoe Basin may come too late to protect the region for devastating wild fire.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board was told removing underbrush and thinning trees could cost more than $100 million over the next decade.

By the end of next month, Tahoe´s seven local fire districts are expected to have completed plans identifying areas most at risk for wildfire and where forest thinning and other steps must be taken to reduce the danger.

By January, TRPA officials hope to complete a list of forest projects across the basin, as well as the estimated cost of forest treatment.

Officials estimate 24,000 acres of forest within about a quarter-mile from neighborhoods must be thinned over the next ten years to protect homes from wildfire.