Aspen’s Fire Department is doing extra fire prevention near Snowmass Village this spring, and expanding ongoing efforts on Red Mountain in Aspen. The goal is to limit the amount of fuels--or things that can burn-- near homes.
Parker Lathrop is Wildfire Division Chief and says a neighborhood near the Intercept Lot is a high priority area. “We’ve never approached Brush Creek before. We’re going to look at the county right of way, which is a road,” says Lathrop, “and clear off the sides to create safe egress for the residents, access for us, and hopefully create some fire breaks and in some cases fuel breaks.”
Lathrop will be focusing on the right of way on Red Mountain, too. There’s only one road in and out, which makes the access road especially important. “It’s a measured approach in how far we extend into that right of way,” says Lathrop, who explains some of what could get cleared out. “Some areas it’s going to be large cottonwoods that have potential to fall and block the roadway. In other areas it might be scrub oak or serviceberry, which creates a dense brush. If it were to catch on fire, it’s just a ton of heat have that next to an egress path.”
Last year the department cleared out brush and other materials on Red Mountain, along easements and power lines. Clearing this spring will take place during two weeks in early May.