New Design Requirements for Decks in Wildfire-Prone Areas in North Lake Tahoe
Other Western Regions Can Benefit As Well—And They Won’t Be Far Behind
by Brian Dunagan, PE
The North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District has been concerned with the hazard to life and property from the intrusion of fire from wildland exposures, fire from adjacent structures and prevention of structure fires from spreading to wildland fuels in its District. Recently, the Fire Protection District adopted additions and amendments to its 2018 Wildland-Urban Interface Code. You can access the materials here. This is important to us as engineers as it is closely related to the safety of the area’s residents. And while North Lake Tahoe is the leader in codifying these requirements, it’s our prediction that other areas—including southern Oregon, where we also work—will not be far behind. Based on our review and interaction with the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District and the Washoe County Building Department, we have adjusted our deck design details. Specifically, we are including the additional flashing requirements and the foil-faced bitumen tape or corrosion-resistant metal applied to the top of the joist and down 2 inches each side of the joist. For our higher-end projects and projects that are visible from below, we are using painted metal or copper to provide the protection of the top of the joist. Curious whether your deck would benefit from these new requirements? Give me a call and we can take a look together.