County defensible space program in need of funding
East Fork Fire Marshal Steve Eisele declared the Compost Your Combustibles program a success after collecting 795,000 pounds of vegetation.
The five collection sites closed July 7 when contractors began clearing the sites, and taking the vegetation to Bently Ranch for composting.
“The program worked really well. We’ve collected and processed quite a bit of material,” Eisele said. “Hopefully, we’ll see results of making homes safer in a wildfire event.”
This was the third collection period since 2011.
“Unfortunately, this period we saw an upswing in household garbage, furniture and incorrect wood materials,” Eisele said. “We did see some abuse, more than we’ve seen in the past.”
The sites opened June 22 in Johnson Lane, Genoa, Topaz Ranch Estates, Jacks Valley and Gardnerville Ranchos.
“We usually like to hold them open longer, but due to financial restraints we only ran two weeks, three weekends,” Eisele said.
The program was made possible through a $100,000 Bureau of Land Management grant.
“That paid for signage, contractors to grind the materials, and contractors to clean up the fine material that couldn’t go through the machinery,” Eisele said.
Eisele said there are no immediate plans for future sites unless the district can secure more funding.
“The district will be pursuing more grant money for future programs,” he added. “We appreciate everyone’s efforts in wildfire preparation in using the program.”
The drop-off sites were sponsored by the Bently Ranch, Nature Conservancy, Topaz Community Open Bible Church, Douglas County School District and the East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts.
For more information on defensible space, visit http://www.livingwithfire.com.