A LOT of Opportunity and Activity! – by Jody Dickson
SO much is going on right now around wildfire preparation and mitigation which is very exciting to see. As I mentioned last time, we are preparing for our summer season at Saws & Slaws. The first events are getting scheduled. We still have spaces available, so if you are interested in hosting an event in your neighborhood this summer, please contact us at SawsandSlaws@gmail.com or call Linda Martin at 720-326-7739. We are also planning our Chainsaw Skills and Safety class for this spring. In order to be a sawyer at one of our events, it is required that you take this class or an equivalent course, so you know how to safely operate a chainsaw in a group environment. That said, if you want to learn how to use a chainsaw, how to maintain a chainsaw, how to be better at operating a chainsaw for your own personal use… this class is also for you. Stay tuned in future Saws & Slaws article or on our Facebook page for details about our chainsaw class when they are ready.
As you will have already read, the Coal Creek Canyon Fire Department is sponsoring an effort for us to update our Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Our last one was written in 2008, and a lot of things have changed since then!! There’s been more development, some wildfire mitigation treatments completed, changed forest and climate conditions, and nearby fires. Professionals will review the specific circumstances of our neighborhoods and make recommendations for treatments that will help us make our community safer for ourselves and our fire fighters. In order to have a plan that meets the needs of our community, it will be very important to make your voice heard in this process. There will be multiple community meetings and at least one survey for you to provide your input. Please take the time to contribute to the effort to make sure we get a CWPP that best meets our needs. If you are interested in finding out more about this project, please visit the project website at CoalCreekCWPP.org or email CWPPforCCC@gmail.com.
I also want to share that we have an opportunity to host Team Rubicon this summer for a project. If you are not familiar with Team Rubicon they are a humanitarian organization that primarily responds to natural disasters utilizing the skills and experiences of military veterans. Not only are their skills well suited for coordinated response to disaster situations, the program has the added benefit of giving veterans a way to continue to serve and be part of a tight-knit group again after they’ve left the military. In the last few years, they have begun to also help communities prepare for a wildfire by doing mitigation. Their projects are VERY similar to Saws & Slaws, but at a lot larger scale. They tend to come into an area for a whole weekend and work the whole time. Consequently, they are able to accomplish a lot of work. Imagine a Saws & Slaws event at four or five times the scale! In order to host them for a project this summer, we are looking for 5 – 10 sites in a neighborhood where we can come in and do the felling, slash removal and chipping work. We’ll work with the homeowners to get the trees marked for removal or thinning. I also plan to support their volunteers with our volunteers and our famous delicious potluck meals. Presuming this works, we have an opportunity to continue to do larger and larger projects with them in the years to come. This could be a great opportunity for our community. If you know a neighborhood that would be interested in this opportunity or if you would like to be a site yourself, please contact Jody Dickson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-588-6639.
Safety Tip of the Month: Protect your home from embers! Many are surprised that it is rarely a burning tree that catches a structure on fire. Small flying embers travel great distances by the wind created by the fire, flow like water when they reach a surface and can ignite a structure by landing in a place with just the right conditions. That is why it is so important to keep your crevices (e.g. in gutters and the valleys in the roof structure or where the ground meets the house) clear of fuels (e.g. pine needles) and made of fire-resistant materials. This is also one of the reasons it is important to remove fuels from zone 2 (the 5 – 30 ft zone) around your home as more fuels make more embers. Spacing between trees or between groups of trees gives us a chance for the fire not to move easily through the crowns which will help reduce the volume of embers, too. Take a close look at your structures and think about where the embers may fall and clean up those areas!
Saws and Slaws is a 501(c)3 organization committed to Building Stronger Communities Through A Healthier Forest. Find out more at http://sawsandslaws.org and Join Us!