Scrub Oak Clean Up in Forest Park 2007
by Anthonette Klinkerman
An unusually dry winter and warm temperatures have brought fire concerns back to the forefront of homeowner concerns.
Some of the scrub oak groves on homeowner property sustained damage during the winter and need to be cleaned up for safety issues. Scrub oak close to homes should be trimmed back ten to thirty feet, depending upon the slope of the surrounding landscape. This area is known as “defensible space”, and it allows for more fire protection than a home with growth right up to exterior walls.
What to do with the branches? Homeowners are asked to not leave branches piled up on others’ property or next to any structures for the obvious reason that it is still fuel and considered a major fire hazard.
Residents are encouraged to take cut branches to drop-off stations in Castle Rock for mulching. For information regarding trimming back the correct number of feet a specific property needs go to www.southmetrofire.org. For information about Douglas County’s Slash and Mulch program go to http://www.douglas.co.us/publicworks/operations/Slash_and_Mulch.html.
Other fire dangers include gutters filled with dead leaves and debris, and tall grass. Be safe with grills and gas-powered trimmers as sparks can easily ignite dry grasses. Avoid storing flammable liquids on, under, or around decking, which can only act as an accelerant in a wildfire situation.
For more information, please visit www.firewise.org.