Chateau Chaparral, St. Elmo, Trail West, Piñon Hills and others to receive free fire mitigation help
To help landowners create defensible space around their homes, Chaffee Chips will coordinate free neighborhood slash removal and chipping services in seven geographic areas this year.
The wildfire mitigation program helps homeowners remove potential wildfire fuels from around their homes. Property owners in the service areas are asked to cut and clear brush and trees before the event and pile them at their curbs.
Since Chaffee chips started in 2020, more than 400 landowners have created 1,400 piles of slash that were chipped on-site by the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) or hauled away by Chaffee County Fire Protection District firefighters. The 2023 service dates are:
- May 17: Piñon Ridge Estates
- July 11-13: St Elmo & Alpine
- July 17: Chateau Chaparral
- Sept. 19-21: Trail West Plus | CR 358A, 359, 362, 363, etc.
- Oct. 3-5: Mount Harvard Estates | Riverside
- Oct. 11: Piñon Hills
- Oct. 17-19: Mesa Antero
View maps of the 2023 service areas and learn more about how to participate at the Chaffee Chips webpage.
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 remove whole trees during the beetle’s active periods from April to early October. Get free advice about how to created effective defensible space by calling the CSFS Salida Field Office at 719-539-2579.
Chaffee Chips service locations are chosen by the Envision Forest Health Council, based on Treatment Priority Areas outlined in the Chaffee County Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The plan maps where to treat both public and private lands to reduce the risk that severe wildfire poses to community assets 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.