Right-of-Way Mitigation Project 2024-2027
Right-of-Way Mitigation Examples
Example of current road conditions. Location Blue Grouse Trail
Example of a right-of-way mitigation showing distance from trees to road.
The current fire level is set to LOW.
What does the fire danger mean?
The Fire District does not allow control (slash) burning from Memorial Day through Labor Day or when the fire danger is HIGH, VERY HIGH, or EXTREME. A permit is required to have a control burn and can be applied for through our Community Connect platform.
Recreational (camp) fires are allowed within the District. A permit is required to have a recreational fire on private property throughout all areas of Summit County and can be applied for through our Community Connect platform.
We recommend you refrain from having a recreational fire when the fire danger is HIGH, VERY HIGH, or EXTREME or when there is a Red Flag or Fire Weather advisory.
Fire Danger Level: Low
When the fire danger is "low," it means that fuels do not ignite readily from small embers, but a more intense heat source, such as lightning, may start fires in duff or dry rotten wood. Fires in open, dry grasslands may burn quickly a few hours after a rain, but most wood fires will spread slowly, creeping or smoldering. As a result, control of fires is generally easy.
Fire Danger Level: Moderate
When the fire danger is "moderate," it means that fires can start from most accidental causes, but the number of fires that start is usually pretty low. If a fire does start in an open, dry grassland, it will burn and spread quickly on windy days. Most wood fires will spread slowly to moderately. Average fire intensity will be moderate except in heavy concentrations of fuel, which may burn hot. Fires are still not likely to become severe and are often easy to control.
Fire Danger Level: High
When the fire danger is "high," fires can start quickly from most causes, and small fuels (such as grasses and needles) will ignite readily. Unattended campfires and brush fires are likely to escape. Fires will spread quickly, with some areas of high-intensity burning on slopes or concentrated fuels. Fires can become severe and difficult to control unless extinguished while they are still small.
Fire Danger Level: Very High
When the fire danger is "very high," fires will start quickly from most causes. The fires will spread rapidly and quickly increase in intensity right after ignition. Small fires can quickly become large and exhibit extreme fire intensity, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirls. These fires can be challenging to control and will often become much more extensive and longer-lasting fires.
Fire Danger Level: Extreme
When the fire danger is "extreme," fires of all types start quickly and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious and can spread very quickly with intense burning. Small fires become big fires much faster than at the "very high" level. Spot fires are probable, with long-distance spotting likely. These fires are challenging to fight, may become very dangerous, and often last several days.
Fire Mitigation Projects
Blue River East Webinar
The Town of Blue River, Colorado State Forest Service, and USFS hosted a webinar on the Blue River East project on May 25th. You may view the webinar on our YouTube Channel here: https://youtu.be/Ft7ZJVSYuxc. You may also find out more information about the project: White River National Forest - Home (usda.gov)
Blue River West Project
The Blue River West GNA Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Forest Health project is officially complete! Over 109 acres was treated. Click on the image for the before and after photos courtesy of Bill Wolf, Lead Stewardship Forester Colorado State Forest Service.
Why Fire Mitigation?
Many ask, why do we need to mitigation? The initial mitigation work can be shocking but it does serve a great purpose. Below is a link to a great video that explains how to co-exist with wildfire and why mitigation is necessary.
Spruce Creek Trail Project
Spruce Creek Fuels Reduction Work Starting Notice
Blue River residents,
I wanted to inform you that work is projected to start next week (July 24) on the Spruce Creek GNA Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Forest Health project. The project will be completed by the end of October 2023. To minimize disturbances, all operations (cutting, skidding, loading, etc.), except log hauling, will only be allowed from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Log hauling is not permitted on Saturday and Sunday.
The Spruce Creek and Crystal Lakes Trailhead is adjacent to the project area and will remain open. For public safety, temporary road closures can be expected when loading log trucks and felling operations are occurring adjacent to the road. Unofficial social trails will not be actively supervised by trail safety guards.
During project work hours, please use caution on roads and around tight corners, as contractor traffic and log trucks will limit available road space. At a minimum, stay 300 feet away from any equipment as operations and debris can cause serious injury or death.
The goal of this project is to help protect the community of Blue River in the event of a wildfire, increase the watershed’s resiliency, and regenerate an old, unhealthy forest that is susceptible to devastating beetle outbreaks and intense fire conditions. This scientifically-based and ecologically conscious treatment ‘mimics’ the disturbance that subalpine, inter-mountain western forests are adapted to without the undesirable consequences of home loss, drinking water degradation, habitat loss, etc. The project will reduce the volume and connectivity of fuels within the project area and reduce fire intensity to a level where firefighters will have a greater opportunity to safely engage in fire suppression activities in the event of a wildland fire.
Please contact me with any questions, Bill Wolf
Fire Mitigation Tips
Courtesy Red, White &, Blue Fire District. www.rwbfire.org
Tips to Protect Your Home From Wildfire
- Actively manage your roof. Clean roof and gutters of pine needles and leaves at least twice a year to eliminate an ignition source for potential fires. This eliminates an ignition source for firebrands, especially during hot, dry weather.
- Beyond the initial 15 feet, thin trees to achieve 10-12 foot crown spacing. Occasionally, clumps of 2 or 3 trees are acceptable for a more natural appearance, if additional space surrounds them.
- Create defensible space on flat ground a minimum of 75 feet around a home. Increase this diameter if the structure is located on a slope.
- Dispose of all slash and debris left from thinning by either chipping, hauling away or piling and burning. Contact your local fire department or local Colorado State Forest Service forester for burning restrictions and/or assistance.
- Mow grasses and weeds to a height of 6 inches or less for a distance of 30 feet from all structures.
- Place liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) containers at least 30 feet from structures. Clear anything flammable, including vegetation, from within 10 feet of all tanks.
- Prune tree branches within the defensible space up to a height of 10 feet above ground.
- Remove shrubs and small trees or other potential ladder fuels from beneath large trees. Left in place, these fuels can carry a ground fire into tree crowns.
- Remove unhealthy vegetation. Trees and shrubs that are stressed, diseased, dead or dying should be removed so that they do not become a fuel source for potential fires.
- Stack firewood away from your house. Locate firewood at least 15 feet uphill from your home. Do not stack firewood under the deck.
- Thin out continuous tree and brush (shrub) cover around structures. Remove flammable vegetation from within the initial 15 feet around structures.
- Trim any branches extending over roofs, and remove branches within 15 feet of chimneys.
Ready, Set, Go
The Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program seeks to empower fire departments to engage the residents they serve in wildland fire community risk reduction. The RSG! Program provides free tools and resources for fire departments to use as they help residents gain an understanding of their wildland fire risk and actions individuals can take to reduce that risk. Engaging in this dialogue is particularly important for the fire service as national studies have shown that firefighters are uniquely respected in their communities and can project a trusted voice to the public preparedness appeal. They can also explain what fire resources are available during an event and the role that individuals should play in preparedness and early evacuation – if called for by their local officials – to increase the safety of residents and first responders.
The RSG! Program works in complementary and collaborative fashion with FirewiseUSA® and other existing wildland fire education efforts. It amplifies the preparedness messages to better achieve the common goal we all share of fire adapted communities. When firefighters encourage residents to take personal responsibility for preparing their property and family for wildland fire, residents become an active part of the solution. The more residents actively involved in mitigating their properties and preparing for evacuation, the greater a community’s resiliency to wildland fire.
The RSG! Program is managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Launched nationally in March 2011 at the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI 2011) Conference, the program helps fire departments teach individuals who live in high-risk wildland fire areas how to best prepare themselves and their properties to adapt to living with fire.
How Can I help?
Find out more information on what you can do to be ready and assist the Town of Blue River towards a goal of being a Firewise Community.
Summit County Wildfire Council Summer Tours
“Clearcuts Through the Ages” Come join Summit County wildfire mitigation and forest management agencies to see and discuss clearcut treatments in Barton Creek from thirty, ten, and only one year ago. You will get a picture of how our Lodgepole pine forests respond to these treatments and what is being done to maintain the treatments as the trees grow back.
July 5th, 4pm-6pm. Meet at Barton Road and Airport Road in Breckenridge. We will carpool for a 10 minute drive from there. Wear good walking shoes
“Subalpine Forest Ecology and the Role of Disturbance” This month Summit County wildfire mitigation and forest management agencies will be going out to the historic Soda Creek Range to get a panoramic view of our Lodgepole forest landscape. We will discuss the historic role that wildfire has played in the local ecology and how our ongoing wildfire mitigation efforts mimic those disturbance processes.
August 2nd, 4pm-6pm. Meet at the gate at the end of Keystone Ranch Road. We will all drive out to the Soda Creek Ranch from there. Wear good walking shoes.
“Living with Wildfire” For the final field trip of the year, Summit County wildfire mitigation and forest management agencies will be revisiting the 2018 Buffalo Fire scar. We will discuss suppression operations when firefighting crews first got on the scene, how fire was influenced by the existing fuel treatment, and restoration efforts following the incident. (Please note: if we have the opportunity to visit a 2023 fire scar, the meeting location may change)
October 4th, 4pm-6pm. Meet at Buffalo Mountain Trailhead on Ryan Gulch Road. Wear good walking shoes.