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Free Slash Collection At Stanley Park Fairgrounds

Free! A slash collection site will be available this year at Stanley Park Fairgrounds next to barn “W” beginning Saturday, October 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Slash can be dropped off each Saturday in October until October 30th.

Bring tree trimmings, small trees, tree trunks, shrubs, and all the slash being created as a defensible space is expanded, maintained or created. There is no charge for this drop off service. All residents of the Estes Valley can bring slash to the drop off site. Please know that no tree roots, bags of leaves or bags of pinecones and needles can be accepted. Volunteer fire fighters will be inspecting all loads before those loads can be dumped to make sure only slash is being unloaded.

The Estes Valley Fire Protection District obtained a grant through the Colorado State Forest Service to have the collected slash chipped and recycled. The volunteer firefighters appreciate the voluntary steps homeowners take to create and maintain defensible spaces around their homes.

Scott Dorman, Chief, Estes Valley Fire Protection District, said that the Estes Valley can experience a wildfire in any season of the year. “The rains we received early this summer caused the vegetation to grow more than usual. Now all this vegetation has dried out leaving more fuel increasing the risk of having a wildfire this fall. The rapid growths of the Fourmile Canyon and the Reservoir Road fires have shown just how extreme the fire conditions are and there is still smoke in the air from the Cow Creek Fire that started at the end of June.”

Due to the hot temperatures, dry winds and lack of moisture, Larimer County and the Town of Estes Park have put fire restrictions in place. Residents need to be aware that many activities they do outside can start fires. It is up to all residents and visitors to know the fire restrictions.

Don’t wait! Improve or create a defensible space around your home now! You can drop off the slash at the Stanley Park Fairgrounds next to Barn “W” and have it chipped and recycled at no cost to you. The entrance to the Barn ”W” area is from 4th Street, south of the Senior Center.

Here are some of the things property owners can do to create defensible spaces.

• Thin continuous tree and brush cover around all structures.

• Clean out gutters and roof areas where pine needles collect regularly.

• Clean pine needles and other debris from under decks and in corners of structures.

• Mow grass and weeds around structures to prevent flames from reaching it.

• Prune tree branches to a height of 8-10 feet to eliminate the possibility of fire reaching the branches (ladder fuels) and burning the tree and possibly reaching the structure,

• Remove any small tree or shrub from under large trees to prevent fire from reaching the tree branches.

• Stack firewood at least 30 feet away from any structure.

• Post house numbers at the edge of the road so they are clearly visible at night.

• Make sure the driveway is at least 12 feet wide and all tree branches are cleared to a height of 14 feet to allow emergency response vehicles safe access to all structures.

For more information on creating defensible space and additional safety measures, contact: Sue Pinkham at: spinkham@estes.org or 970-577-3682.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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