Feb. 25, 2022 — Work on the Methodist Front community fuel break continues this week as a contractor using a masticator treats 116 acres on the north end of County Road 110, near the Piñon Ridge Estates subdivision.
The Bureau of Land Management collaborated with the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) to connect fire mitigation work and create a linear, effective fuel break across the foothills of the mountain. CSFS is managing treatments on private property in the fuel break.
This project is a good collaboration with the BLM as we are treating cross-boundary with connectivity right from private to federal lands.”CSFS Salida Field Office Forester J.T. Shaver
Mastication is a patch-clearing method used in the piñon-juniper forest to thin stands of trees, so that better separation reduces the chance of fire spread in the event of a wildfire.
See how it works by viewing footage from the Hutchinson Ranch!
Methodist Front was the first project designed and funded through collaborative efforts of the Envision Forest Health Council’s 40-plus members, who are working to help the community treat priority areas and reduce the wildfire risk, as outlined in the Chaffee County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
The project is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s RESTORE Colorado grant program, with matching funds from the U.S. Forest Service, the municipalities of Salida and Poncha Springs, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and Chaffee Common Ground.
Multiple Piñon Ridge Estates homeowners agreed to thinning on their lands to help create the fuel break. They participated in Chaffee Chips in 2021, and are among the 113 property owners on the Methodist Front who have made nearly 300 piles of wood slash that were removed by Chaffe County Fire Protection District firefighters and CSFS staff.
Piñon Ridge Estates also earned Firewise USA designation in 2021, joining Maysville, Alpine, St. Elmo and Game Trail in the national program that provides a framework to help neighbors in a geographic area get organized, find direction and take action to reduce wildfire risk at the local level.