BLOG #37, SERIES #3
WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE
FIRES AND MITIGATION
September 12, 2012

A number of you were kind enough to call us when you heard about Colorado wildfires near us. It has been scary. Especially when we could see a ridge only five miles away, when winds 70 miles an hour were raging, and flames were shooting 200 feet high. One of my fellow Kiwanians lost everything in that fire.

Since that time all of us who live in mountain communities in our region have lived in fear that a wind-driven fire would come our way; for when that happens, all the slurry bombers and helicopters are grounded until the wind dies down.

At times like these you realize how fragile life and houses and possessions really are.

Another fear has to do with defensible space. Insurance company managers have sent out warning salvos to homeowners in mountain communities, declaring that not to provide buffers around homes might be grounds for losing insurance coverage.

So it has been that a number of family and friends, including our son Greg; our neighbor Mike Forth; Evan and Sheree Nudd; Charles and Nikyla, Nathaneal and Garrett Wilkes, have come to our rescue. Twelve large trees have been felled so far, and are in the process of being cut up.

It has been quite a sight to see mountain man Evan Nudd jockeying up to the top of towering pine trees and cutting them down in sections (where the trees are dangerously close to the house or power lines); when further away the rest of us tug at ropes to help guide the falling trees away from the house.

It hurts, especially when you love trees as much as we do. But on the positive side, it gives aspen a chance to grow, for lodgepole pine trees grow so fast they often shade the aspen to death, or acidify the ground so much that aspen can’t flourish.

How grateful we are that the days of circling wagons to protect family and friends are not yet over!

And we are so grateful!

Published in: on September 12, 2012 at 10:31 am  Comments (3)