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Wildfire mitigation and neighborhood chipping program experiencing delays for Colorado Springs Fire Department

Colorado Springs Fire Department truck
Colorado Springs Fire Department truck(CSFD)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 12:38 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The Colorado Springs Fire Department is experiencing delays in its neighborhood chipping program, which aims to mitigate wildfire risk in the area. The program serves as a way for the public to do their part in making the lives of Colorado Springs firefighters just a little bit easier.

“It offers them a free resource to be able to do the mitigation work on their property and help us in sharing the responsibility of doing that work on the front end, so should there be a wildfire in that area, it really helps our firefighters out on the back and getting that work done in there,” says Melissa Hoffman, Program Coordinator for the Wildfire Mitigation Office for the CSFD. “If they haven’t started mitigation work, we highly encourage them to begin now, because as you said it’s been a very dry, dry season. So we wanna make sure we’re getting all that work done as soon as possible.”

The delays for the program are due to vegetation and debris left behind following the snowstorm over the weekend of May 21st. An uptick in demand for the chipping program services has slowed their operations, but things are expected to be back to normal soon.

“Two to three week delay in the Skyway neighborhoods that we are working in right now, those six neighborhoods. The neighborhoods that we have coming up on June 20th we are planning to start on time and hopefully get through those,” Hoffman states.

Additionally, despite the delay, the Colorado Springs Fire Department isn’t worried about increased fire danger.

“So that’s not something we’re usually worried about. Our residents do a really good job of stacking their piles according to guidelines which is in five by five by five piles,” Hoffman says.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department has nine seasonal crews, five wood chippers and three garbage trucks at their disposal as part of the program, and they’re currently running at full capacity with their whole set of crew and equipment. The program operates in and focuses on the wildlife urban interface areas, which are the highest risk areas for wildfires in Colorado Springs.

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