Currently, more than two-thirds of the County is in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), including Evergreen and Conifer area which rank #1 in Colorado, and in the top 10 nationally, for potential risk of property loss to wildfire, according to the Verisk Fireline State Risk Report. Removing fuels, such as trees and associated debris from land creates defensible space around homes and structures and increases the chance of preventing catastrophic loss in the event of a wildfire. “An important part of mitigation is having a way for residents to dispose of the material that is generated, that’s why Jefferson County’s foothills SLASH program is so beneficial” said Chief Skip Shirlaw, Inter Canyon Fire Protection District.
The 2021 Jefferson County SLASH (Sustainable Lands And Safer Homes) weekend collection season in the foothills area comes to a close on October 31. Special thanks go out to all residents that participated in this year’s program and did fire mitigation on their land. So far this year, over 4,100 loads totaling more than 25,000 cubic yards weighing over 6,200 pounds of woody plant material have been dropped off by residents over the past 19 weekends. Given the ongoing importance of wildfire risk reduction in the Jeffco foothills and the success of the SLASH program, planning for the 2022 is already underway. The County is seeking ways to improve this program to make it more available and cost-effective for residents to further support and encourage wildfire mitigation.
Throughout this season, residents that dropped off at foothills SLASH sites were surveyed about travel time, frequency of use, weekend or year-round drop off availability, and fees. This information along with costs and operating considerations will be used determine how to improve the SLASH drop off availability while controlling costs. Also, in 2021 Jefferson County partnered with local fire district to support their fire mitigation programs for residents by making SLASH drop off available to them on weekdays. In 2022, the County will continue to work with the local fire districts while expanding its education and drop-off opportunities.
For more information contact Matt Robbins, Community Connections Manager at [email protected] or 303-271-5902.