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Firefighters taking advantage of recent snowstorms by slash pile burning, in effort to lower wildfire danger

Firefighters taking advantage of recent snowstorm by slash burning, lowering wildfire danger
Firefighters taking advantage of recent snowstorm by slash burning, lowering wildfire danger 02:14

Wintertime sparks are preventing summertime fires. The Front Range's recent snow is a huge boost in lowering our wildfire danger, and firefighters are taking advantage of it. 

They've been out conducting burns while there's little to no risk of the fire spreading.  

"It is common and its becoming more popular as a form of fire mitigation since it's cost-effective," said Lt. Mike Amdur with Foothills Fire Protection District. 

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CBS

One Jefferson County homeowner took advantage of the snow on Saturday to reduce fire risk on their land by hiring a private company to carry out a slash pile burning of natural debris collected in the summer. 

"That's reducing the ladder fuels so you're breaking that chain from the ground up into the treetops, breaking the fire cycle," explained Ryan Elwyn, with Elwyn Wildfire. 

The slash consists of sticks, logs, dry needles, and other natural fuels. 

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"Those piles are formed over multiple years sometimes and are stacked in a way where they can be burned in the wintertime when the conditions are safe to do so," Amdur said. 

Cold, snowy and windless weather reduces the risk of the fire spreading.  

"Its perfect conditions, it's what we need to use winter for. The benefits of living in Colorado," Elwyn said.    

In JeffCo, there must be at least four inches of snow on the ground for burns like this to take place. They require permits and must be monitored by the fire department. 

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CBS

"While these burns are being considered and are in progress, the weather and air pollution are also being considered," Amdur said. 

If those factors change, the burn may be stopped. 

Fire departments like Foothills offer at-home assessments where firefighters will come to your home and recommend changes to make your home more fire-safe, as well as go over an evacuation plan and your insurance. 

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