Governor John Hickenlooper has signed a proclamation declaring May 4 a Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service. Colorado has been chosen by the National Fire Protection Association to pilot this project, which will be a nation-wide event next year.
Communities are being encouraged to commit to participate in any one of a variety of projects designed to bring neighbors together to reduce the risk of future devastating wildfires.
Woodland Park, with the help of the Colorado State Forest Service, NETCO Fire Station 1 and Firewise Communities is planning to participate in this statewide event.
Local experts will be holding a workshop Saturday. The workshop is designed to teach the basic steps necessary to create a defensible space around homes.
Workshop: Saturday, 9 a.m. at NETCO Fire Station 1, 1010 Evergreen Heights Drive.
Informational materials and health and safety tips will also be available from Firewise Communities and the Forest Service.
The Black Forest community is also participating in the event. There is an opportunity for volunteers to cover three, interrelated activities.
Volunteers will remove dense stands of small pine saplings, using hand tools such as branch loppers and bow saws, and haul them to the Black Forest Slash-Mulch site. Removal of these overcrowded "doghair pines" improves forest health, and reduces fire danger by removing "ladder fuels" that carry fire into the forest canopy.
This activity will take place Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It will take place on the south side of Shoup Road, just west of the entrance to La Foret Conference and Retreat Center, 6145 Shoup Road.
Black Forest Fire/Rescue will give Firewise educational presentations, display its wild-land firefighting equipment, and demonstrate the safe use of chainsaws to remove ladder fuels that are too big for hand saws. Firefighters commonly use these methods to prepare homes to survive an approaching wildfire; however, it's better if residents do this work before the fire happens.
These presentations will take place at Black Forest Fire Station One, 11445 Teachout Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Black Forest Slash-Mulch Program is a wildly-successful wildfire mitigation program that grinds tree debris into useful mulch. Before the creation of the Slash-Mulch site, residents who thinned their trees often had to pay to dispose of the resulting slash. Now residents can dump the branches at the Slash-Mulch Site, at no charge, and bring home free mulch to improve their properties.
This event takes place on Herring Road, between Burgess Road and Shoup Road, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.