Lot Cleanup To Reduce Wildfire Danger
The Association of Angel Fire Property Owners (AAFPO) encourages all Angel Fire property owners to thin and remove excess vegetation from their lots to create defensible space, to reduce the danger from wildfire.
The New Mexico State Forestry Department and the New Mexico State Fire Marshall recommend defensible space to reduce the wildfire threat, by removal of dead and excess vegetation, reduction of fuel within 30 feet of homes (or more on steeper terrain), and thinning to separation distances of at least 10 feet between tree canopies. (A paper giving more details on wildfire control is available from the Angel Fire Fire Department. They may be called at 377-3347 with questions.)
When Angel Fire lots are thinned and dead vegetation removed, the lots will become more valuable, the community will look better, and there will be less danger of Los Alamos type wildfires that could be a disaster here. Carson National Forest staff recognizes the extreme fire danger in this area and will initiate thinning of the forest Southwest of Angel Fire. The Village has received federal grant money for additional thinning within the community.
Each property owner is asked to clean their lot in 2007, to remove excess vegetation and create defensible space to help control wildfire. Owners of multiple lots are asked to begin a phased program to clean all their lots within a reasonable period.
A free Tree Cutting Permit for removal of trees to minimize fire danger, is available from the Environmental/Architectural Control Committee at 377-1135. Thinnings may be taken to the Village slash pile in the solid waste area, for disposal. Property owners with questions may call 377-0557.
Lots should be thinned as follows:
REMOVE DEAD VEGETATION: Remove standing dead trees and shrubs. Remove down dead trees, if not embedded into the ground. Remove dead branches from standing trees. Remove branches and excess pine needles from the ground, but leave all decomposing vegetation. Do not disturb soil.
BREAK-UP CONTINUOUS VEGETATION: Thin bushes and small trees to separation distances of twice their height (4-6 times their height on steep slopes). Thin trees to separation distances of 10 feet between outer branches, on level ground, and 20 to 30 feet on steep terrain. Leave the largest trees unless they appear unhealthy. All healthy Aspens may be left standing.
REMOVE LADDER FUEL: Remove bushes from under trees.