By Makenzie O'Keefe


JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Jefferson County has a green way for residents to prevent wildfires. The ‘Slash Program’ gets natural fire hazards off residents’ properties and processed into compost.

Jefferson county slash pile fire prevention

(credit: CBS)

This type of mitigation is considered the first line of defense against wildfires.

“People can drop off trees, logs, nothing bigger than six inches around,” explained Parker Jordening, with the Jeffco Slash Program. “Also pine cones, pine needs, all those types of things.”

Parker Jordening Jefferson county slash pile fire prevention

Parker Jordening (credit: CBS)

The program encourages residents to safely remove of any materials around their home that could help to fuel a wildfire.

Jefferson county slash pile fire prevention

(credit: CBS)

“Getting rid of all this dead stuff in your yard that can light up just like that, makes it so much safer for you and everybody else,” Jordening explained.

Jefferson county slash pile fire prevention

(credit: CBS)

Jefferson County has a large number of homes in a wildland-urban interface, where the wilderness meets human development. That puts those homes at higher risk, if a wildfire starts.

Jefferson county slash pile fire prevention

(credit: CBS)

Arthur Whyte, a resident in Evergreen, noticed his trees didn’t give his family much of a safe zone.

Arthur Whyte Jefferson county slash pile fire prevention

Arthur Whyte (credit: CBS)

“Being worried about fires, if you separate the trees and spread them out, you’re much less likely to have a fire come up to your house,” he explained. “If you can put a buffer zone around your home you’re much safer.”

Jefferson county slash pile fire prevention

(credit: CBS)

Whyte was dropping off tree branches at the slash collection site on Sunday.

“Getting it here makes it so much easier than putting out a small bag at the trash each week,” Whyte said. “Because with trash, you’re also filling the landfill with plastic bags.”

Jefferson county slash pile fire prevention

(credit: CBS)

Leaders of the program told CBS4 this program comes full circle. The branches and debris collected are chopped up, sent to a compost yard, and eventually go back to a landscape company in the area as soil.

A slash collection site will be open in Jefferson County every weekend in October. For a list of dates and locations you can visit: https://www.jeffco.us/2493/Slash-Collection.

Wildfire Resources

– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Colorado 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.

Makenzie O'Keefe

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