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Forest Service: Forest management to reduce wildfire risk saved subdivision

Posted: 1:04 PM, Jul 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-02 19:04:44Z

GRANBY — While 300 homes had to be evacuated as the Golf Course Fire burned west of Grand Lake last week, the Colorado State Forest Service said recent forest management work helped to save the subdivision.

Firefighters and emergency responders ensured that the 20-acre fire did not damage any homes. A main reason they were able to protect the community was recent forest management work that was intended to reduce wildfire risk in the area, CSFS said.

“The forestry work and fuels mitigation the Colorado State Forest Service has administered in the Grand Lake community without a doubt saved the Columbine subdivision,” said Chief Mike Long with Grand Lake Fire.

The CSFS has a handful of key partners, including local forest product industries, the Grand County Wildfire Council, Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District and adjacent landowners, with funding support from Northern Colorado Water. Since 2015, the CSFS and its partners have removed beetle-killed trees and created fuel breaks to reduce wildfire risk on 217 acres near subdivisions in the areas of Columbine, Winding River Ranch and Winding River Villas.

CSFS said this is far from the only case where fuel mitigation work has been successful. Fire managers said forest management work near Silverthorne was a major reason why homes did not burn in the Buffalo Mountain Fire in May.