Free slash haul away service heads to five neighborhoods
To help landowners create defensible space around their homes, Chaffee Chips will coordinate free neighborhood slash removal and chipping services in five geographic areas this year.
The countywide fire mitigation program reduces the threat of wildfire by helping homeowners remove potential fire fuels. Property owners in the service areas are asked to cut and clear brush and trees before the event and pile them at their curbs. The 2022 service dates with links to detailed maps are:
- April 11-13: Game Trail East Side
- Sept. 12-14: Meadow Lakes Mountain Estates
- Sept. 26-28: Three Elk, Four Elk, Waptiti
- Oct. 10-12: Cedar Ridge/CR251/The Highlands
- Oct. 17-19: Buffalo Hills/CR 384/CR356
Since Chaffee chips started in 2020, 330 homeowners have created nearly 1,000 piles of slash that were hauled away by Chaffee County Fire Protection District firefighters or chipped on-site by the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS).
Landowners can get detailed information about how to treat their property by requesting a free assessment from a CSFS forester. Call 719-539-2579 to schedule an appointment.
Property owners in lower-elevation piñon-juniper forests need to be aware of the Ips bark beetle infestation. To prevent spread, do not cut any green/live piñon branches or do whole tree removal during the beetle’s active periods from April to early October.
Chaffee Chips participants are required to register their slash piles on Envision Chaffee County’s Chaffee Chips webpage for them to be picked up. A CSFS video is available there that explains what to do to effectively treat your Home Ignition Zone to prepare for a fire.
Chaffee Chips service locations are chosen by the Envision Forest Health Council, based on Fuel Treatment Priority areas outlined in the Chaffee County Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The plan maps where to treat both public and private lands to cut the risk wildfire poses to community assets in half by 2030. The long-term goal is to treat up to 30,000 acres in the county. About a third of the acres are privately owned.
Chaffee County Fire Protection District has trailers available for all landowners who want to reduce the threat of wildfire on their property. Call 719-395-6545 and the district will drop off a trailer for you to fill with wood slash and then they return and haul it away. The cost is $50 for residents in the fire district and $75 for those located outside the district.
Chaffee Chips is funded by Chaffee Common Ground and CSFS grants.