BLM trims trees near Canyon Creek |

BLM trims trees near Canyon Creek

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Fire prevention work near Canyon Creek, west of Glenwood Springs, may ease residents’ minds after a wildfire threatened their homes last summer.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, thinning trees and brush northeast of the Canyon Creek area could help prevent homes from catching fire should they be threatened again.

The New Castle Fire prompted the evacuation of about 90 residences over four days last June, including those in Canyon Creek Estates. It burned 1,240 acres and threatened some 200 homes in all.

“With the fire [last] summer out there, it just called attention to Canyon Creek,” said David Boyd, a BLM public information officer.

In the fall, the BLM trimmed and thinned brush and trees on 11 acres of public land northeast of Canyon Creek, Boyd said. The Canyon Creek Estates subdivision is in the hills above Interstate 70 and the actual creek valley, just west of Glenwood Springs and east of New Castle. More homes are located in the valley, to the north of the interstate.

Boyd said the New Castle Fire could have approached Canyon Creek dwellings from the northeast.

“The New Castle Fire was west of Canyon Creek,” he said. “But had it kept burning around, if you had some wind shifts, it definitely could have come around and burned toward the community.”

About 25 piles of trimmed slash closest to the homes will be burned in February when conditions are right. Another 75 or more piles will be burned the following winter. By then, they’ll have dried out and will burn better.

Boyd said trees weren’t cut down. Instead, branches close to the ground were trimmed. That way, fire is less likely to burn up into the tree canopy. The thinning can slow down the spread of fire and buy firefighters more time to get in there and stop it, he explained.

“We look for opportunities where we can do this on federal lands that are right up against developments,” Boyd said.

The BLM is doing similar work near the Prince Creek area outside of Carbondale, Boyd said.

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