Summit County wood chipping program kicks off Monday
Summit County government and the Summit County Wildfire Council will kick off the 2014 Summit County Chipping Program on Monday, June 30.
The free program helps property owners create defensible space by providing free chipping and disposal of branches, logs and small trees that elevate wildfire risk around homes.
From the end of June through mid-October, chipping crews will travel throughout each residential neighborhood in Summit County. Property owners can clear woody vegetation from around their homes and stack it in a slash pile near the road on their neighborhood’s designated chipping week. The crews will chip the material and haul it away at no charge.
“Summit County is located in a fire-prone ecosystem, and we have to be proactive in adapting to that reality,” said Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs, who chairs the wildfire council, in a news release. “This chipping program offsets the cost and increases the convenience of one of the best adaptation strategies for residential properties.”
The chipping program is available to all county residents. Chipping crews will begin work Monday in the southernmost neighborhoods of Summit County. Throughout July, they’ll move north through the Breckenridge area and into the Frisco area and Copper Mountain.
In August, the chipping program will pass through Montezuma, Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne, and on to the Lower Blue River Basin.
In September and October, crews will complete a second lap through the county. Detailed schedules, broken down by neighborhood and subdivision, are available online at http://www.co.summit.co.us/chippingprogram.
The chipping program is funded in part by a $62,500 grant from the Colorado Division of Natural Resources, through the agency’s Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program. The Summit County Wildfire Council provided matching funds.
“We’re very grateful to the state for helping make this program possible in Summit County,” said Dan Schroder, director of Summit County CSU Extension, in the release. “It’s going to facilitate substantial progress toward our community’s wildfire mitigation goals.”
The Summit County Chipping Program will accept trees, logs and branches up to 9 inches in diameter, free of nails, wire and rope. Chipping crews will not accept construction materials, treated lumber, fence posts, shrubs, root wads, stumps, weeds, bagged materials, grass clippings or trash.
Slash piles must be stacked by 8 a.m. on the Monday of the neighborhood’s designated chipping week. Piles must be stacked neatly within 5 feet of the roadway. The maximum pile size is 5 feet long, 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep. There is no limit to the number of piles a property owner may set out.
To keep chips for mulch or other purposes, participating residents may tie a red ribbon or flagging in a prominent spot on the pile. Piles may not be combined with neighbors’ or placed in other neighborhoods. Specified pile requirements are in place to support wildfire protection.
For more information about the Summit County Chipping Program, including neighborhood chipping schedules, materials guidelines and pile guidelines, visit http://www.co.summit.co.us/chippingprogram or contact the Colorado State University Extension office in Summit at 668-4140.
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