Experts to discuss local wildfire conditions
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Somewhat battered by decade-long waves of bark beetles, Summit County’s forests are showing signs of a strong comeback.
In both logged and un-logged areas,young lodgepoles are spurting upward, with growth rates doubling in some areas and new stands of developing aspens on sunnier patches of ground. The regeneration is especially eye-catching in stands that haven’t been logged. With sunlight streaming through the bare branches of beetle-killed pines, a thriving mix of shrubs, berry bushes and grasses carpets the forest floor, proving shelter for new conifer species, including subalpine fir and Englemann spruce.
But the new forest, along with the beetle-killed areas, is still subject to the ever-present threat of wildfires, which are a natural part of lodgepole forest ecology. And since so many Summit County dwellings are on the fringes of those forests, local homes and neighborhoods are also at risk.
Recent spring snows have eased drought conditions, water and wildfire experts say there will still be a chance of fires later this summer, and they want educate local residents about the potential risk to neighborhoods.
This month’s Summit County Forest Health Task Force meeting (April 24, 7-8:30 p.m., at the old Frisco Community Center, 3rd and Granite) will feature talks from local wildfire experts, including Ross Wilmore and Jeff Berino.
They will discuss fuel loading, structural triage, structural ignitability and wildfire behavior and what that means to Summit County homeowners. An important question to be addressed is how wildfire risk has changed with a hotter and drier climate, more logged areas, more down trees, less needles and branches, more grasses, and continued development in forested locations.
The meeting also will include information the new Colorado State Forest Service wildfire risk website, www.coloradowildfirerisk.com. The website is intended as a tool for assessing wildfire risk to individual homes and neighborhoods.
Frisco Community Center at 3rd and Granite
USFS Wildfire Experts to speak and answer your questions
Frisco Community Center at 3rd and Granite!
July 17th (tentative date) – After the Fire – Implications of a Radically Changed Environment
August 21st (tentative date) – Real Life Homeowner Wildfire Experiences