Snowmass Fire: Wildfire risk moderate, but remain aware | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Fire: Wildfire risk moderate, but remain aware

John T. Mele
Guest column
These photos, taken from Brush Creek Road, show what an area looks like before and after a wildfire-mitigation project. Scrub oak is thinned out, making it more friendly to wildlife and also less likely to spread flames should a fire ignite.
Courtesy photos |

The risk of wildfire in the Snowmass Village area remains moderate thanks to the grateful doses of moisture from afternoon showers. We still need to be careful with any type of outside burning including small backyard fire pits and charcoal barbecues, as I remind you that most wildfires are human-caused and can get out of control quickly.

The Snowmass Homeowner’s Association has finished a wildfire mitigation project on the southern exposures of Oak Ridge and Meadow roads. The thinning project began last fall and picked back up this early spring. The area has greened up nicely this summer and the “clumping” effect from the removal of dead and trimmed up scrub oak makes the area wildlife friendly and more wildfire ready.

This mitigation work would not be possible without the vision and commitment of the Snowmass Homeowner’s Association President Joe Farrell, Donna Aiken, Rick Griffin and our own county wildfire mitigation specialist, Darryl Grob. Together with the hard-working State Wildfire Inmate Fire Team, we believe that the funds spent by the homeowners were prudent and the large amount of work managed very well. Several individual property owners called the fire department for a free wildfire assessment and conscientiously worked on vegetation around their own homes. Get your free wildfire assessment by calling 970-923-2212.

Snowmass Village, the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District along with the Viceroy Snowmass will play host this year to the Colorado Wildland Conference on Sept. 24-26. “Creating Fire-Adapted Communities” will be a three-day conference with exciting presentations from some of our nation’s wildfire, insurance and real estate industry leaders and experts.

The Colorado Wildland Fire Conference is designed for real-estate agents, developers, professional planners, insurance industry representatives, community leaders, contractors, firefighters and emergency service professionals.

One special conference segment will be devoted to representatives from our own Aspen Board of Realtors and the Vail Board of Realtors, who will join a panel discussion on wildfire, mitigation and the real-estate prospective. Issues concerning voluntary vs. mandatory property wildfire measures is just one topic of interest for all.

The lineup of speakers and presentations is diverse and will focus on creating “Fire Adapted Communities.” More details and registration information for the upcoming conference will be announced shortly.

To learn more about this event, call 970-923-2212 or visit http://www.wildfire-colorado.com.

John T. Mele is the fire marshal of the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District.


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