For the first time, local wildfire experts are joining forces to tackle one of the biggest natural threats to our community. Pitkin County Wildfire Mitigation Specialist and former Aspen Fire Chief, Darryl Grob and Bureau of Land Management Fire Mitigation and Education Specialist Doug Paul are leading the effort to create the Pitkin county Wildfire Council. The first organizational meeting of the Wildfire Council is set for Wednesday, March 18th, just before wildfire season begins which traditionally runs mid-spring to the first snowfall.
“Front range fires in recent years have driven home the need for all communities to do everything they can to prepare and protect themselves the best they can from wildfire,” said Paul. “The Pitkin County Wildfire Council can work to bring together people and agencies to reduce the impact of wildland fire in Pitkin County,” Paul said.
Operating alongside the Pitkin County Public Safety Council, the mission of the new team is to enlist and enable the collaboration of agencies and residents to protect our homes, our communities, and our environment from the threat of wildfire.
“We will focus on the wildfire risk of living in a Wildland Urban Interface in the Central Rockies. We seek to identify, prioritize, and implement mitigation projects to protect lives, properties, and our communities from wildfire. At the same time these efforts will promote forest health and a productive wildlife environment by mimicking the ecological role fire would normally play in our wildlands,” Grob said.
Participating agencies include: the US Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the Colorado State Forest Service, Pitkin County Community Development, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails; the Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt, and Carbondale Fire Protection Districts; the City of Aspen, the Town of Snowmass Village, the Aspen Board of Realtors, and Eagle County Wildfire Mitigation personnel.
Similar Wildfire Council efforts have been underway in Eagle and Summit Counties for some time. According to Grob, “Their success highlights our confidence in the potential of this effort.”
For further information or any questions regarding wildland fire in Pitkin County contact:
Darryl Grob - Pitkin County Wildfire Mitigation Specialist