As firefighters continue to battle wildfires burning in Colorado, communities are doing their part to get ahead of the dry season and lower the fire risk around their homes. Perry Park residents are currently creating slash piles to mitigate wildfire dangers in their neighborhood.
The mitigation program is funded by grants and local property taxes collected by Perry Park's Metropolitan District. The neighborhood hires contractors to haul away the cleared debris. Trucks take the material to a gravel pit behind Perry Park where firefighters can burn it if the conditions are right. Otherwise, the tree trunks and vegetation are ground into mulch and given back to residents for their gardens and yards.
The metropolitan district also funds a cost-sharing program that helps residents hire contractors to clear brush and trees. The district will match what homeowners pay contractors up to $500. So, if a contractor charges $1,000, the district will pay $500 of that amount.
Perry Park was one of the first of 12 Firewise communities in the United States, beginning in 2001. The subdivision has more than 800 homes. Residents clear potential fire fuel around their homes twice a year. Up to 7,000 cubic yards of slash are cleared during the mitigation work.