CRESTONE – The Colorado State Forest Service will be working with Crestone Charter School to offer a wildfire defensible space workshop on site Saturday, May 12. Defensible space refers to the natural and landscaped area around a structure that has been modified to reduce wildfire hazards. It provides a more safe location for firefighters to work within to protect a structure.
CCS is located in the wildland-urban interface, which is the area where structures intermingle with or are close enough to wildland vegetation that a wildfire could spread and ignite the structures. The school, dear to both students and the community, is located within an area considered at risk of high-intensity wildfire should an ignition occur.
“CCS has done a great job protecting their site by improving emergency vehicle access, and through good building design and regular maintenance,” said Adam Moore, forester with the Colorado State Forest Service Alamosa Field Office. “However, more work still needs to be done to keep the site protected from a wildfire.”
Moore says that due to the fact that students may be present during a potential wildfire, the size of the defensible space around the school will need to be bigger than what is considered adequate for a home.
The event on May 12 will be a hands-on training that includes an education component, where residents will learn about the basics about defensible space. In the morning, attendees will walk around the school to talk about how the building design and its immediate landscaping might affect its odds of burning during a wildfire. Attendees will then progress outward from the school to discuss which trees might need to be thinned or pruned. In the afternoon, participants will help the school actually start to create defensible space and demonstrate how much work can get done with simple hand tools.
“This is a great opportunity to learn about wildfires and help protect the local school,” said Marie-Louise Baker, CCS director.
The event is open to the public and will start at 10 a.m. and finish by 3 p.m. Baker has arranged for lunch to be provided.
To RSVP or for more information, email: mlbaker @crestonecharter.com or call (719) 256 4907