By Matt Kroschel

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Summit County towns are partnering with the US Forest Service for a first-of-its kind new wildfire mitigation patrol to combat what many believe will be an extremely bad fire season this year.

Local towns and the county raising $130,000 to fund a four-person team to patrol dispersed camping areas in the county on federal land to help look for unattended fires and educate campers to the danger.

wildfire season 6pkg frame 2059 New Wildfire Mitigation Partners Communities With Forest Service

(credit: CBS)

Additional money will fund Summit County Sheriff deputies’ overtime to patrol the 600 miles of area in the county to help mitigate the danger.

wildfire season 6pkg frame 798 New Wildfire Mitigation Partners Communities With Forest Service

(credit: CBS)

Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons says the community demanded local leaders do something proactive in light of the dry winter and expected high fire danger.

wildfire season 6pkg frame 1076 New Wildfire Mitigation Partners Communities With Forest Service

(credit: CBS)

“Putting extra people out there monitoring smoke, and patrolling for campfires and having additional man power for if and when we have a fire ban,” FitzSimons said.

wildfire season 6pkg frame 1939 New Wildfire Mitigation Partners Communities With Forest Service

(credit: CBS)

Summit County will provide the funding for a crew of four seasonal workers to supervise efforts on federal land, since the USFS does not have the budget to provide those positions.

wildfire season 6pkg frame 1369 New Wildfire Mitigation Partners Communities With Forest Service

(credit: CBS)

The Forest Service and local fire crews are also busy trying to get ahead of the season by increasing mitigation efforts, including wood chipping programs, and clearing fuels near homes.

wildfire season 6pkg frame 1489 New Wildfire Mitigation Partners Communities With Forest Service

(credit: CBS)

And this is welcomed news to residents who watched as a mountainside turned inferno just outside of Breckenridge last summer as the Peak 2 Fire burned dozens of acres.

peak2 fire 3 from inciweb New Wildfire Mitigation Partners Communities With Forest Service

(credit: Inciweb)

Wildfire Resources

– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s