The fire season’s shaping up to be one of the most volatile in years. The city of Durango and its partners plan to thin forests this summer along six miles of wild lands bordering developments within the city limits. You’re watching the local news network brought to you by the payroll department and Kraegers ACE hardware. I’m Wendy Graham Settle. The city of Durango, along with residents and seven local state and federal agencies, will thin forests on 36 acres in 10 treatment areas this summer. The project is part of the city of Durango’s fire management and healthy forest initiatives. The city identified areas on what’s called the Wildland Urban Interface, the border between high density development and forests. The project will clear forest adjacent to nearly 200 residential structures including some apartment buildings.
What we’ve learned across the nation in recent years, and again, with the four 16 fire is that wild land urban interface is a high risk zone because most of our catastrophic fires that we’ve seen in the past decade or more have been human caused and the, the race to put those fires out and prevent loss of private property and life, obviously, is often where residences or buildings are. So, that’s why the shift in the city’s focus to the Wildland Urban Interface, or the WUI is what we also say to shorten it, and again, why we focused on these areas where houses are in close proximity.
Last year, the city clear 10 acres along the Telegraph trail on the East side of the Jennings ranch subdivision. Mitigation efforts clear away underbrush while keeping larger trees and shrubs to prevent erosion. The project is funded by Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado State Forest Service, city stewardship funds, and other agencies. Final cost will not be available until after contractors are selected for the work. To learn more about this summer’s wildfire mitigation project visit Durangogov.org and search “fire mitigation”. Thanks for watching this edition of the local news network, serving La Plata, Montezuma, and San Miguel counties in Southwest Colorado and San Juan County in Northwest New Mexico. I’m Wendy Graham Settle.