City Hires Wildland Fire Mitigation Program Manager
Proactive Program Could Lessen Fire Danger to Homes this Summer
Contact: Darryl Grob, City of Aspen, Wildfire Mitigation Project Manager, 970-366-1071 or Darryl.firstname.lastname@example.org; Stephen Ellsperman, City of Aspen Director of Parks and Open Space, 970-429-2034 or Stephen.email@example.com
Aspen, CO – June 14, 2012– The City of Aspen has hired former Aspen Fire Protection District Chief Darryl Grob as its new Wildfire Mitigation Program Manager. The threat of wildfire this summer is extremely high due to low precipitation so far this year. The City is acting as proactively as possible to work with the community to mitigate the chance of a catastrophic fire in City limits. The primary goal is to reduce fuels in the Wildland Urban Interface. This involves several programs and opportunities for citizens.
A team led by Grob has been assembled to educate homeowners on how to minimize the fire risk to their homes and property. This includes a free home assessment for those properties that are identified as being in the high risk areas starting Friday, June 15. Assessors will visit homeowners free of charge and provide a detailed assessment and list of measures they can take to immediately reduce the risk to their property. If mitigation work is necessary the State of Colorado is offering a cost-sharing program with homeowners to encourage the completion of this necessary work. In addition, if homeowners need to cut or trim trees and bushes, the City will chip it free and leave it onsite or haul it away. Tree removal permits from City of Aspen are being expedited and issued for free if required by this project.
“I’m excited to have this job because it’s the right thing to do under these circumstances. The community is at risk and my aid has been enlisted to mitigate that risk,” said Darryl Grob Wildfire Mitigation Program Manager. “It is my duty to offer this assistance to my community.”
The prioritized high risk areas in the City include properties in the Smuggler Mountain area northeast of the Roaring Fork River, the Ute Avenue neighborhoods, Marolt area and Castle Creek to Maroon Creek area from the roundabout to the music school.
“If people’s properties are in hazardous condition it is important they are informed and understand how to mitigate the hazards,” Grob said. “This year is one of extraordinarily high wildfire hazard. If there is any doubt in a homeowner’s mind that they are at risk they should call me and I will be happy to inspect their property. The homes have been identified because they lay in the path of projected fire patterns or they are surrounded by high fuel loads.”
The program will run through August but it is best to act on this opportunity as soon as possible. For more information and to schedule an assessment, call 920-5199 and see www.aspenpitkin.com for more information.