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Resources to help create a wildfire-defensible zone

By Roberta Tolan
SUN Columnist

Photo courtesy Jeff Laydon Monica Wamsley, center, represents Pagosa Land Co. and receives the 4-H Livestock Auction cake from Fair Queen Maranda Chavez, left, Junior Princess Kiera Torrez and Princess Jade Hart, right. Proceeds from the sale of the cake at the annual auction support the 4-H Livestock Program.

Photo courtesy Jeff Laydon
Monica Wamsley, center, represents Pagosa Land Co. and receives the 4-H Livestock Auction cake from Fair Queen Maranda Chavez, left, Junior Princess Kiera Torrez and Princess Jade Hart, right. Proceeds from the sale of the cake at the annual auction support the 4-H Livestock Program.

In July, there were three articles highlighting the importance of creating a wildfire-defensible zone around your home and structures to maximize the chances that they will survive a wildfire.

Three defensible zones were outlined and the specific activities that each zone requires were detailed.   The creation of each zone requires the removal of ignitable materials such as pine needles, wood mulch, slash piles, and some trees and shrubs. The following workshop and rebate program are available to help county residents get started with creating their wildfire-defensible zones and chipping the slash created through mitigation efforts.

Free workshop 

FireWise of Southwest Colorado and Colorado State University Extension Archuleta County are sponsoring a free Home Ignition Zone and Defensible Space Workshop for the public on Friday, Aug. 23 from 10 a.m.-noon in the Loma Linda Subdivision, on U.S. 84 south of Pagosa Springs.

Attendees will see how a wildfire safety home inspection is done and how to develop a defensible space around their home using Colorado State Forest Service guidelines.

Anyone concerned about how to protect their home from the risk of wildfire is encouraged to attend.

For more information on this workshop, contact Bill Trimarco at archuletafirewise@gmail.com or 264-0430.

Chipper rental rebate   

FireWise of Southwest Colorado is offering residents a rebate to help offset the cost of chipping slash from wildfire mitigation work conducted on private property in Archuleta County.

Residents will be reimbursed for the lesser of $100 per day or 50 percent of the cost to rent a chipper or to utilize a company for chipper services used to chip slash created during wildfire mitigation work on any privately owned property.

Rebates will be processed on a first-received basis and are valid from May 1 through Sept. 30, 2013, or until funds are expended. The following rules apply:

• A receipt for contract work or chipper rental is required. Rebates will not be given without documentation of chipper expense.

• At least two photos of the project area and chipping taking place should be included with this application.

• Only one rebate per property/property owner and per receipt, not to exceed $500.

• The work must be completed and/or receipt dated between May 1 and Sept. 30, 2013.

• Subdivisions or homeowner associations renting a chipper for members can apply for this rebate. One refund will be sent to the HOA for distribution, not to each individual resident.

For more information on this rebate program, application information and additional fire mitigation information, e-mail archuletafirewise@gmail.com or call 264-0430.

For detailed information on creating a wildfire-defensible zone around your home, visit the following web sites:

• Colorado State Forest Service:  www.csfs.colostate.edu.

• Colorado State University Extension:  www.ext.colostate.edu/fire/.

• FireWise of Southwest Colorado:  www.southwestcoloradofires.org.

Colorado State University Extension provides science-based information on youth development (4-H), agriculture and natural resources, horticulture, family and consumer sciences and community development. Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

Calendar

Aug. 8 — Mountain View Homemakers, 9 a.m.

Aug. 10 — Fun Day Rodeo in memory of Michael Maestas, 9 a.m.

Aug. 12 — 4-H Livestock Committee meeting, 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 13 — Farm Bureau meeting, 6:30 p.m.

This story was posted on August 8, 2013.