Meeting began at 2:05 pm and was lead by Charles Banks.

The purpose of this meeting was to provide information and discuss a federal grant that is being offered to our community for fire mitigation. Monitored by the Colorado State Forest Service, and the Platte Canyon Fire Department, a contractor would perform the fire mitigation for any property owner willing to participate while community volunteers would provide the slash removal from the property to the road/street with the mutual goal of our neighborhood reaching and maintaining the status of a Firewise Community.

Charles explained that Aspen trees are not considered for this mitigation and are not considered to contribute to wild fires because of their high moisture content.

There have already been federal grants provided for the KZ Ranch and Deer Creek Valley communities and for quite a bit of the National Forest area around us, now they want to do our community.

This grant would provide mitigation at no cost to the property owner, volunteers are asked to take the slash to designated areas close to a road or street. These piles of slash would later be picked up and chipped.

The forest service is using a $25 per person per man hour to calculate a volunteer basis. The more volunteers we have the more money will be granted.

Property owners will need to request mitigation first; those who do not request this service will not be provided this service. At some point the forest service will assess their property and mark trees that need to go, and the property owner has final say as to which trees are to be mitigated. If the owner has a favorite tree that they do not want cut, the forest service will not cut it even though it had been marked.

As the deadline to commit to this grant proposal is April 1st, Jeff De Berry (Vice President) and Charles Banks (President) decided to go ahead and commit to providing 10% of the cost of mitigating our community in volunteer man hours. John Van Doren, president of KZ Ranch Association, said it was not difficult to provide up to 40%.

Mitigation will continue until it is done, most of KZ Ranch is done, but is still continuing even with this new grant proposal. Project for KZ Ranch has been worked on for 2 to 3 years, with 5 acre properties taking more time.

During mitigation, and upon request from property owners, any trees cut will be blocked, but not split, for fire wood while the slash will be chipped later.

Mitigation will be done on a first come first served basis; in the order in which property owners sign up to request mitigation. We are requesting you put in as much volunteer time as you can for those unable to volunteer due to physical restrictions and with the benefit for the community as a whole in mind.

Fire mitigation suggestions are at least 15 feet from any structures, not the trunk, but any limbs. The Fire Department, during a wild fire, will look at the houses that can be saved. Having mitigation done will give your house a better chance. They assess each property; color coded red, yellow, green. You can ask the fire department what color designation your property has. The State Forest Service representative said it might be easier to get property insurance, rates may go gown, if we become a firewise community.

Comments were made on current mitigation expenses privately paid; $300-400 per tree, and $1,800 for slash removal only.

Charles asked for a vote, whether an ECHPOA member or not, to as whether the community should participate in this program, even though he and Jeff have already made the commitment. There were 20 people in attendance and all 20 agreed to go forward with it.

Look for more details as to how and when to sign up. This is a win-win situation! Mitigation at no cost to the property owner, only volunteer man hours, and our community is safer from spreading wild fires.

Meeting ended at 3:00 pm.

To view the 2 handouts provided at the meeting, click on the following titles:

1.  Protecting Your Home from Wildfire:  Creating Wildfire-Defensible Zones

2.  Fuel Break Guidelines for Forested Subdivisions & Communities

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