Vail to work on ‘defensible space’ |

Vail to work on ‘defensible space’

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL – A four-person wildfire crew hired by the town of Vail will be working in 16 project areas this season to help reduce Vail’s wildfire danger. The defensible space work includes cutting, piling, chipping and burning of dead and diseased pine trees in the targeted areas as well as the cutting of affected aspen stands to accelerate new growth. In addition, crews will continue inspections of private properties to facilitate the removal of dead trees as required by the town.

The project areas will take place on about 118 acres of public land that are most at risk for fire. The projects were chosen due to their high risk to infrastructure, such as buildings, communication sites, power lines and roadways, as well as falling tree hazards along trails.

Now in its sixth season, Vail’s wildfire crew will again be headed by wildland division coordinator Tom Talbot with work occurring May 31 through Oct. 31. The crew will have two returning members, Fritz Rogowski and Matt Wohlgemuth. New to the crew this season will be Corey Gonyea and Ryan Elwyn.

The defensible space projects for 2011 are as follows:-

• Davos Trail —Includes cutting nine hazardous/dead pine trees on trail.

• The Valley (14 acres) –Includes cutting hazardous/dead pine and aspen; stack and pile.

• Buffehr Creek (8 acres) –Includes cutting diseased aspen trees for regeneration.

• Red Sandstone (4 acres) –Includes cutting hazardous/dead pine trees.

• Potato Patch (3 acres) –Includes cutting diseased aspen trees for regeneration.

• Booth Creek –Includes cutting diseased aspen trees for regeneration.

• East Vail – Pitkin Creek (4 acres) –Includes cutting hazardous/dead pine and aspen.

• East Vail – The Heathers (5 acres) –Includes hazardous/dead tree removal.

• Snowshoe Lane – Water Tank (9 acres) –Includes cutting hazardous/dead pine and aspen.

• Golf Course –Includes cutting hazardous/dead trees as needed.

• Ford Park Nature Center –Includes cutting hazardous/dead pines.

• Vail Village – Streamwalk –Includes cutting 14 hazardous/dead trees.

• Beaver Dam Road –Includes cutting hazardous/dead pines.

• Lionshead (4 acres) –Includes cutting hazardous/dead pines; stack and pile.

• Cascade Village (4 acres) –Includes cutting hazardous/dead pines, stack and pile.

• Gore Valley Recreation Path from Golden Peak Ptarmigan Circle –Includes cutting 14 hazardous/dead trees.

In addition, the crew will provide free FireWise property assessments for property owners. Appointments may be made by calling 477-3509.

As the town returns to enforcement of its dead tree ordinance this season, a free curbside chipping service will again be offered as an incentive for property owners. The service will be available Monday through Thursday from June 13 to Oct. 25 for trunks, limbs and slash up to 24 inches in diameter. Tree removal permits are available on line at health and will be processed within five working days. You can also call 970-477-3509 to schedule an evaluation and schedule trees to be chipped.

The town’s dead tree ordinance requires property owners to remove dead or diseased trees within 30 days of notification. If the trees cannot be removed within 30 days, a town-approved mitigation plan is required. Failure to comply with the regulations could result in a summons to municipal court.

The town has committed up to $145,000 for the forest health projects this year. Since 2006, the town has spent approximately $1.1 million on its projects and has leveraged additional resources from partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, Eagle County, Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority and Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.

For additional information, call Talbot at 477-3509.

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