During a Forest Health Council meeting Wednesday, three specific action projects came out of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan: Treating Together, Chaffee Chips and Envision Healthy Landscapes.
Treating Together dictates what at-risk areas need the highest prioritization when it comes to wildfire prevention projects. The areas selected for prioritization were Antero, Poncha-Salida South, Maxwell Park, Chalk Creek and Shavano Front.
Council members originally wanted to prioritize three of the five listed at-risk zones, but they concluded that they would focus on all of the zones to reach their coverage goal of 2,000 to 3,000 acres a year.
The project brings together private landowners, land management agencies, nonprofit organizations and funders.
Chaffee Chips aims to help private landowners mitigate fuels, create a defensible space around any structures and improve forest health. The service coordinates community events in priority neighborhoods and helps educate landowners with tips and services from the Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado Fire Camp, fire protection districts, state and federal agencies and Chaffee County.
The Community Wildfire Protection Plan recognizes that mitigation on private property can be both expensive and physically challenging. One of the tools volunteers will use to assist landowners is a tub grinder that breaks down logs into mulch. That mulch will then be sold or donated by the county.
Less physically strenuous mitigation activities include cutting brush and mowing grass.
Through Envision Healthy Landscapes, council members will collectively organize public relations resources to spread the word of the overall goals and methods of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
Through their coordinated communications, they said they hope to educate the public, increase awareness, maintain and improve social license, encourage action and celebrate success.
The project intends to use both traditional and social media, as well as neighborhood meetings and events, to reach 4,000 people. The council hopes to upload aerial drone footage to YouTube.