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(KTXL) — Crews in the Tahoe basin are trying to get ahead of the threat of destructive wildfires.

Reducing the risk of wildfires is an ongoing battle in the Sierra but crews are hoping prevention projects will reduce blazes going forward.

“We couldn’t just sit by and do business as usual,” said Jessica Morse with the California Natural Resources Agency.

The massive flames shedding spotlight on forest management.

“We’re not only seeing impacts to communities and smoke health, but we’re also seeing devastating impacts to ecology and our natural watershed,” Morse continued.

Monday morning, California forest and wildland leaders toured the North Tahoe Forest Wildfire Prevention Projects. The tour looked at the lands managed by the California Tahoe Conservancy and state parks near Tahoe City.

“We have removed a lot. We are trying to continue to nudge this back to the old forest condition,” explained Dan Shaw with the California State Parks.

The big and small projects look to reduce wildfire fuels by thinning out trees in the dense forest on state lands and prescribed burns.

Some of the smaller projects are helping homeowners create defensible space that gives firefighters a chance to save homes when fires burn erratically.

“We have deployed every tool in the toolkit, and we are already seeing quick results,” said Morse.

Those results are part of the nearly $2 billion effort to boost wildfire prevention. The funding launched more than 800 projects across the state.

The summer of 2021 demonstrated the importance of previous projects as the Caldor Fire lost steam as it entered the Tahoe Basin.

“The entire Christmas Valley area, not a single home was lost in that area. That entire area had fuel reduction treatments surrounding the neighborhoods and it also had a lot of work done within the neighborhood itself. What it did was buy firefighters time and create a safer environment for them to work in when the fire did move into those neighborhoods, they were better able to protect those homes,” said Forest Shafer with the California Tahoe Conservancy.

Officials are worried if mega-fires continue in the Sierra, it could impact the watershed that gives California 60% of its clean water.