This week's Canyon Courier letters to the editor.
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Must move faster to avoid tragedy
No argument that Evergreen is at risk for a Hayman scale fire. Chief Weege was quoted a couple weeks ago saying it will take decades to reduce this risk. That jives with my experience in my Upper Bear Creek East CWPIP. With scant information, I estimate 3% (15 houses of 450) have mitigated. This after years of gatherings and news articles.
I applaud those CWPIP’s that have made significant progress. They are exceptions.
It doesn’t have to take decades to reduce Evergreen’s risk. We know how to mitigate. I suggest we have a discussion about a “man on the moon in 10 years” project to make a significant decrease in Evergreen’s wildfire risk. I don’t have any of EFR’s modeling, but likely it would require mitigating hundreds, likely thousands, of properties. Nobody wants to part with their trees or their money. Arguably worse, it would likely require some heavy handed actions, since voluntary activity is glacial in its pace. This would be beyond EFR’s budget and powers.
Painful, but the upside is we could save the town.
Dave Christensen, Evergreen
Wildfire Mitigation Problems
Difficulties making the Evergreen Community resilient to wildfire are twofold: funding and permission from property owners to remove biomass. It is estimated that to keep an area fire safe 11%of the biomass needs to be removed per year and this is forever. The fire district is over 75,000 acres; 11% is just over 8,000 acres. The cost for each acre is from $1,000 to $50,000 depending on access and quantity of the biomass. Even using the low estimate, the cost would be over eight million per year, more than the entire fire department budget. Plus, it would take nine years to complete the project and then must be repeated. The second problem is more difficult to solve. The first is only a matter of funding the second is getting permission to remove the biomass. Diverting funding for the new fire station would only be a drop in the bucket. The size of the problem is beyond just diverting the funds for a new fire station.
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