Firefighters cut trees in Bellyache | VailDaily.com

Firefighters cut trees in Bellyache

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

WOLCOTT, Colorado – Lt. Jodi Pratt and firefighters from the Eagle River Fire Protection District have cut down numerous dead and dying trees on Bellyache Ridge over the last few weeks in an effort to reduce the threat of wildfire.

Working closely with homeowners and the county’s wildfire mitigation manager, Eric Lovgren, firefighters targeted trees that had been killed by the mountain pine beetle.

“Our goals are to reduce the fire threat posed by dead trees and lessen the likelihood that dead trees will be blown down by heavy winds which could block roads and damage property,” said Charles Moore, fire chief for the Eagle River Fire Protection District. “By removing dead and dying trees that are close to homes or which line area roads, we increase the chances that a home will survive an advancing wildfire and improve the safety along potential routes of escape.”

Slash piles from the project are slated for burning during the winter once a sufficient amount of snow is on the ground.

The work being completed by firefighters on Bellyache Ridge is part of a larger project being managed by Eagle County to remove about 50 acres of dead and dying lodgepole pine trees. The project is a collaborative effort by Eagle County, the Eagle River Fire Protection District, Colorado State Forest Service, Holy Cross Energy and the Bellyache Ridge Home Owner’s Association. A large amount of firewood from the project is being made available to the public; those interested should call Lovgren at 970-328-8742.