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Aspen Fire District Launches Program To Protect Area From Wildfire

Jul 5, 2019

A dying stand of aspen trees in Snowmass Village. This was part of a 2016 fire mitigation project, and those trees have been removed. Aspen Fire Protection District is now conducting curbside assessments to understand and map fire danger in the district.
Credit Courtesy of John Mele

 

Last month, the Aspen Fire Protection District launched a new program to assess dangers in the upper valley.  

Aspen firefighters are completing curbside assessments of every property in the wildland-urban interface, those places where human development is close to wild lands. Fire chief Rick Balentine says that’s about 90 percent of the Aspen Fire District. 

The assessments are part of the Wildfire Adapted Communities program. Each property will be given a general wildfire risk score, and officials will then create public maps showing fire danger. 

Balentine says he hopes the project encourages residents to take proactive steps to protect from wildfire and that because many wildfires spread from home-to-home, it’s important that neighbors work together to minimize risks. 

Maps and initial evaluations could be completed by the end of the summer.