Wildfire protection company expands services to Lake Tahoe Basin

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 11:57 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Home and business owners in Lake Tahoe Basin now have more options to help protect their properties from wildfires, after a high-tech fire protection company announced the expansion of its services to the area.

Peter Mathews bought a home in the Truckee area three years ago, and through that time he has witnessed many fires.

“I think for Truckee is not a question of if we’re going to get a big fire that impacts this area, is a question of when?,” said Mathews.

He created defensible space around his property, but after years of struggling to find insurance “probably three out of four said that they would not insure properties at all in this area” and predictions of more intense wildfire seasons, he decided to look for another layer of protection and turned to the company Frontline Wildfire Defense.

The company installs a custom exterior sprinkler system that shoots water and biodegradable Class A foam up to 30 feet in every direction around the property.

“It saturates combustible materials, whether they be construction materials or patio furniture, front door mats or adjacent plant fields,” said Harry Statter, CEO of Frontline Wildfire Defense. “It creates a condition that is simply too wet to burn.”

The system can be activated on-site with a controller or through the frontline app (iOS, Android). Statter says one of the best parts is that it not uses Wi-Fi, but also cellular data and satellite.

“Essentially, when you activate the system, depending on the size of the home, it’ll run for 10 minutes, pause for 20 minutes, run for 10 minutes, pause for 20 minutes and it’ll continue that cycle until you deactivate the system,” said Statter.

“If the power is out, it will get its signal from the satellite, you don’t have to be here,” said Mathews. “So, the first thing they’re going to do when there’s a wildfire, they’re going to evacuate you, right? So it’s not like you just can turn the system off, which is the other guy (company with a similar system). Basically, you turn the system on and then you leave and then you pray that your house doesn’t burn down.”

The number of sprinkler heads and installation cost will depend on the size of the home. According to Statter, it’s $10 per square footage and they have partnerships with some insurance companies that will discount premium plans.

“I got a lot of confidence from the fire department that it is a good system,” said Mathews. “They said ‘You know what? If you had the system, we don’t have to come and defend your home, the system will defend your home’.”

KOLO8 News Now put a call to several fire prevention units around the area to confirm this statement, but as of the time of this report, we had not gotten a response.

According to the Frontline website, the app alerts you when wildfires are close to your home. “No more scouring the web to find critical information. Frontline notifications include new fire alerts, red flag warnings, fire weather watch warnings, lightning events, evacuations, and more, all customized based on your home address. The map allows you to see and track wildfires that may threaten your home.”

For more information about the system, click here.

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