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May 15, 2019
Dear Red Rock Ranch Resident,
In support of Red Rock Ranch HOA’s FireWise program, we have partnered with El Paso County Department of Public Works to prioritize HOA roads to begin improving emergency access and evacuation routes. The County’s Right of Way (ROW) Maintenance Team will be cutting, trimming, and thinning trees and shrubs to 1) improve safety by extending intersection sight distances, 2) clear trees and branches crowding the ROW, 3) remove limbs that could interfere with emergency vehicles and resident evacuation, and 4) reduce shady areas for better snow and ice melt.
In coordination with the FireWise Committee, and before any trees or shrubs are cut or trimmed, the County will first have their surveyors locate and then stake the ROW with ORANGE and WHITE ribbon. County ROW clearing and trimming will focus on RED ROCK DRIVE, RED FOREST ROAD and FOREST VIEW ROAD.
The County ROW Maintenance Team plans to conduct necessary ROW work in phases as schedules permit, with the first phase scheduled for the month of May. The ROW Team will be removing limbs that are less than 19 feet high and hanging out/above the ROW and over the traveled roadway. County work will also include cutting back shrubs/scrub oak that intrudes onto the front side of ditch and improving intersection sight lines and distances.
The FireWise Committee strongly supports the County’s proactive ROW cutting and clearing, as their efforts will measurably improve resident safety and survivability in the event of a wildfire event. The Committee will continue working with the County’s ROW Maintenance Team to plan for additional phased ROW clearance in our HOA.
President, Red Rock Ranch HOA
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PHOTO CAPTION: Red Rock Ranch Volunteers set to deliver wildfire preparedness materials to homeowners.
Sunshine and moderate temperatures welcomed Red Rock Ranch volunteers as they walked miles of roads hand delivering important wildfire preparedness information to nearly 200 homes.
The May 4 National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is a nationwide activity sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and State Farm Insurance to increase awareness of the wildfire threat and promote community preparedness.
Dave Betzler, chair of the HOA Firewise committee explained, “Thanks to State Farm and its $500 grant, we were able to collect and distribute vital wildfire preparedness materials to all our homeowners.”
Red Rock Ranch’s aggressive wildfire awareness and mitigation program has earned them designation as a Firewise USA community and recent selection as the Colorado site for NFPA Sites of Excellence two year, nationwide pilot project.
The Wildfire Preparedness Day was planned as a service project for Key Club students at Palmer Ridge High School, supported by Firewise and HOA volunteers as well as Kiwanis Club advisors. Pre-Preparedness Day support came from Boy Scouts of Troop 514 who conducted an assembly line to fill each delivery bag with all the materials.
Nearly 25 volunteers, as well as guests Mayor Don Wilson of Monument, Tom Welle NFPA Program Manager, and Tri-Lakes Fire Marshal Jamey Bumgarner, gathered and enjoyed morning snacks and refreshments courtesy of a donation from State Farm Patrick Hall Office. Volunteers were then organized into teams and assigned to a color-coded road section. Teams were given delivery bags for their assigned section, safety instructions, and basic delivery do’s and don’ts. Deliveries of wildfire materials to all 194 homes were completed safely within two hours.
Dave Pheteplace, longtime resident and Firewise Committee member summarized the day’s significance, “Getting this preparedness info to every homeowner is hugely important. We expect this will lead to greater homeowner awareness of the threat and increased participation in our wildfire mitigation, both of which are essential to improve resident safety and survivability. “
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