May 17, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Steamboat Today "Fire mitigation efforts restart in Stagecoach"

(See related investigative report from Bob Berwyn off the Summit Voice here)

Matt Stensland:
" — For the second summer, grant money is allowing firefighters in South Routt County to help residents protect their homes from wildfires.

“We’re going to create some good fire breaks up there with these projects,” Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup said Wednesday while firefighters were completing their annual physical fitness test.

The $173,000 project includes the cost of equipment and for three firefighters to work in the Stagecoach area this summer. Another firefighter will join the project later to help burn slash piles once the snow begins to fall. Wisecup said the fire district is contributing $15,000 in cash for the project and $87,000 in other services, including use of equipment, administrative costs and housing. The Colorado State Forest Service is providing $71,000 for the salaries of the firefighters.

The work of the fire mitigation crew will help supplement the efforts by homeowners in the Stagecoach area, where miles of county roads meander through forests filled with dead lodgepole pines. Wisecup estimated the mountain pine beetle epidemic killed 75 percent of the lodgepole pines in the Stagecoach area, leaving behind a tinderbox that continually threatens homes in nearby subdivisions....."
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