Vail forest work winding down |

Vail forest work winding down

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyLogger Justin Cecil drags cut logs down from above Matterhorn Thursday while logging debris burns in the background. Parts of the forest in West Vail area is being cleared to create a fire line between the trees and homes.

VAIL ” Trees carried out of the forest and piled in West Vail are being hauled away and cleanup of the drop site will continue through next week.

The town and the U.S. Forest Service are creating a buffer zone between home and the forest, where a majority of trees have been killed by or infested with pine beetles. Those trees are more likely to burn in a wildfire.

The helicopter carried about 6,5000 trees ” 75 an hour ” that will be taken to Kremmling and turned into wood pellets that will provide energy for about 1,000 homes this winter.

Areas of West Vail where heavy equipment was used will be revegated. Trees not hauled away will be stacked and burnt in the spring.

This is the fourth project in the last three years the town and Forest Service have completed, and the first with Eagle County as a partner, Town Manager Stan Zemler said.

Last summer, crews completed work on approximately 16 acres of land above Westhaven Drive and Greenhill Court, which included flying 2,100 trees out of the area via helicopter. Similar work occurred on the upper bench of Donovan Park in 2005 and, in 2003, in East Vail’s Bighorn neighborhood and Vail Falls Condominiums and in West Vail’s Chamonix area in 2003.

Next year, work is planned for a stretch of the North Trail adjacent to Davos Trail; along the north side of I-70 between the Son of Middle Creek Trail and North Trail; along the North Trail that begins in the Red Sandstone neighborhood; and areas adjacent to Potato Patch neighborhood.

For more information, contact Eagle County Wildland Mitigation Specialist Eric Lovgren at 328-8742 or Vail Fire Department Wildland Coordinator Tom Talbot at 401-4202.

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