Articles,  Fire Mitigation Events,  Mitigation

Saws and Slaws News October

What IS a Saws & Slaws Event? by Jody Dickson & Linda Martin
Maybe you’ve heard of Saws & Slaws before but don’t know exactly what we do. Saws & Slaws is a community organization that brings neighbors together to do wildfire mitigation and attend to the health of our forest. We do that primarily by organizing monthly events every month Mother Nature allows! Our ‘legacy’ events are typically three to four neighboring properties where we work at whatever needs done for four hours. This can be felling trees, hauling and chipping slash, raking around a home, week-wacking weeds or more. Volunteers make it possible to get a large amount of work done in a short period of time. Many hands makes light work as they say!! Each event costs the property owners $500, plus the cost for the chipper if we are chipping as part of the event. For those that have hired private contractors, this is a steal! Homeowners can divide up the expense however they want, and we can help cover those costs if needed through donations that we receive. Admittedly, we have some limits about what we can do as a group of volunteers, so we still need the professionals from time to time!! The best part of a Saws & Slaws event comes after the four hours of work when we sit down and have a potluck meal together. This is a time of celebration of a job-well-done doing good work for our community and our shared forests, and it is also a very important time for neighbors to get to know their neighbors better. This is what makes us a community!

Update from September
September was a productive month for us! We had our “hot shots” take a big tree down on Twin Spruce. We held a Legacy Event on Ranch Elsie near the school, and we chipped lots of slash and we were very excited to be doing that into the back of a dump truck and saving us the costs of hauling multiple loads while also removing the chips from the property. By the time this publication comes out, we should have also just done work on Lyttle Dowdle. 🙂 Last but not least, we’ve also helped our friends at Gilpin Axe & Snax to move their schedule along, too. There’s so much work to do!!

We are incredibly grateful that the weather this summer was relatively low risk for wildland fire. We pray that this Fall is equally favorable. The Marshall Fire certainly taught us not to become complacent. Always be thinking about your evacuation strategies in various circumstances. Be ready to act. The more of us who are “ready”, the fewer of us there will be in need of extra help. We can increase our odds of success by being ready. I am not totally ready myself but my plan is to be ready soon 😉

As we are wrapping up the season, we are looking at applications for work sites for next year, processing the occasional cord of wood, and planning how to be even MORE efficient next year! If you have logs/firewood to donate, we can help. If you have a small mitigation project and need a little help, we like to keep active through the winter in small work crews (when there isn’t snow on the ground). Find us on Facebook or our website or email us at Have a great October!

Featured Volunteer – Jean Tinder
We did some work at our featured volunteer’s house way back in 2013. We must have got her hooked because Jean has been a steady volunteer ever since. We can count on her helping out whenever she can. It may not be at every event, but we’ve seen her at one of our events at least once a year. She works hard and smart, making sure that we are always doing the most that we can with the time that we have. It is volunteers like Jean that make it possible for us to do what we do! Thanks SO much, Jean!!

Let’s get to know Jean a little better:
What’s your favorite Tree? I love Fir trees! Their needles are soft, they grow to enormous heights, and make the best Christmas trees. I also really love aspens!

What neighborhood do you live in? Crescent Park

If you had to evacuate right now what would you grab? Kitties, computers, small safe with important papers, photos, clothes. I actually have a 5, 15, 30 & 60 evac minute list by my door.

How did you find out about saws and slaws? Signed up my property for one of the first neighborhood events in 2013, enjoyed it and kept participating over the years.

What motivates you to devote your time to fire mitigation with Saws and Slaws? I like the physical work, meeting & helping neighbors, being part of a team, and feeling like the community is a little bit safer.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten at the Potluck? Tough choice! I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between chili and pie.

What’s your favorite thing about Coal Creek Canyon? The peace, quiet, and beauty of nature, especially since I work mostly from home.

Saws and Slaws is a 501(c)3 organization committed to Building Stronger Communities Through A Healthier Forest. Find out more at and Join Us!