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Mountain Shadows June 23, 2012

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WILDFIRE HAZARDS IN LOST PARK RANCH. Mountain Shadows June 23, 2012. Green Mountain Falls 1889. Courtesy of the Ute Pass Historical Society. Green Mountain Falls 2008. What Happened?. Settlement—First we cut the trees indiscriminately. Conservation—Next we decided to save all the trees.

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Mountain Shadows June 23, 2012

green mountain falls 1889
Green Mountain Falls 1889

Courtesy of the Ute Pass Historical Society.

what happened

What Happened?

Settlement—First we cut the trees indiscriminately.

Conservation—Next we decided to save all the trees.

Fire Suppression—After the horrible 1910 fire season we decided to put out all fires.

Wetter than normal conditions during the 20th Century—Really!

Expansion of the “burbs” into rural areas—subdivision on the range.

Dryer conditions during the 21st Century—Is this a drought or just normal?

Keeping it natural –It looked this way when I bought it, so that’s natural.

three factors will determine how a fire will behave
Three Factors will Determine How a Fire Will Behave
  • 1 Weather:
      • Wind
      • Temperature
      • Relative Humidity
  • 2 Topography
      • Fires burn faster and more intensely up steep slopes.
  • 3 Fuel
      • More fuel equals a more intense fire.
The Point to Remember is:

1) You can’t change the topography ;

2) “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”;

----Mark Twain

3) The only way to mitigate your fire risk is to reduce the amount of fuel!

A chain equals 66 ft.

40 Chains per hour equals approximately ½ mile per hour

Point of Origin

Initial Run

d space zone one
D-Space: Zone One
  • Measures 15 feet from the edge of the eaves.
  • Keep roofs and gutters free of debris!!!!!!!
  • Increase the distance on slopes—especially downhill!
  • Clear Most Trees within 15 feet of a structure
  • Decks are Vulnerable!
  • Screen decks with non combustible material.
  • Store no combustibles under decks.
  • Beware of ornamental gardens.
  • Avoid planting within 3-5 ft of foundations.
  • Get rid of junipers (fitzers) especially!
  • Remove ladder fuels & down wood.
  • Clear vegetation 10 feet from propane tanks.
d space zone two
D-Space: Zone Two
  • Width depends on slope!
  • Increase on steep slopes.
  • Increase downhill from structures.
  • Always leave healthy trees!
  • Beware of windthrow in spruce. Create openings by thinning around the edges of aspen.
  • Remove ladder fuels and most spruce regeneration in aspen patches.
  • Isolated shrubs are O.K.
  • Ideally, propane tanks and firewood should be in this zone and level with the house.
  • Work with your neighbors on small lots!
d space zone three
D-Space: Zone Three
  • Normal forest thinning to your property lines.
  • Leave spruce in clumps
  • Take most fo the small spruce from the understory of aspen
  • Expand openings in the conifer canopy by thinning along the edges of aspen stands.
  • Remove ladder fuels.
  • Diverse age and species of trees.
  • Clean wood from the understory, but 2-3 snags per acre and some down woody logs should remain.
Pruning Height Guidelines
  • On trees larger than 30 feet tall, prune up to at least eight feet. You can remove dead limbs higher up if you can do so safely.
  • Beware of reaching too high with a chainsaw. It is dangerous!
  • On trees Less than 30 feet tall, ALWAYS leave at least 2/3 of the green needles.
  • Trees need enough needles (leaves) to make food for themselves.
  • “Lollypop” trees look ridiculous!
The Last Word . . . Be Safe

Face & Eye


Hard Hat

Dave Root,

Assistant District Forester

(719) 687-2921

Ear Protection

Leather Gloves


Leather boots with 8’ tops & non-skid soles