From Bailey Becker, Jeffco Public Information Office, 4/03/2015:
As we enter into the spring and summer, it is time to start spring cleaning our properties and clearing out our slash, which includes tree limbs, tree tops and pine needles. Doing this is essential to keeping our homes safe and the forests healthy in Jeffco.
You will be able to bring your slash to one of many collections that Jefferson County is offering this year. The slash collection program is expected to run every weekend, except July 4 and 5, from May 30 and 31 until October 24 and 25. Sites are being confirmed and will be announced on the slash web page.
Removing slash and creating a defensible space around your home is the first line of defense against wildfires. You can create zones around your home, removing any fire fuels, such as tree debris, in the first zone, which is closest to your home. This is not only important for your property, but it means being a good neighbor too, reducing potential hazards for the entire area. Great tips on how to protect your home and property can be found on the Jeffco Sheriff’s wildfire mitigation page and at www.firewise.org.
Keeping debris cleared and thinning out trees is also vital to forest health. Our forests evolved with fire. Fire cleared out dead, diseased or dying trees to make way for younger healthier trees. However, with us moving into forested areas, we must now help out Mother Nature and thin out our forests to decrease the spread of disease, beetles and other pests and most importantly reduce the potential for devastating wildfires.
Keeping the forests thinned and healthy also helps our wildlife such as deer and elk. More light can reach the forest floor, allowing grasses to grow and provide food for them. To attract more wildlife to your property, keeping your forest healthy is key.
This spring and summer, make a point to clean up and clear out your tree debris. Then make sure to take your slash to one of the collection sites this summer. An added bonus this year, since there will be several more collections, if you don’t have time to haul all your slash in one weekend, you can do it in several.
To learn more, visit www.jeffco.us/slash and if your local group, HOA, subdivision or fire district would like to host a future collection site, please contact Mark Danner, Jefferson County, 303-271-5008 or Bret Roller, Rolling R Ranch Company, 303-589-4698.