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Letter: Little has changed on fire front


Kudos to you for starting-up the Roaring Fork Weekly Journal!

Like many in your readership area, we live in an old-growth piñon-juniper forest. Hard to believe it’s almost been five months to the day since the Lake Christine Fire broke out. My neighborhood, Aspen Junction, was one of the first evacuated on July 3. If not for truly heroic efforts of our local firefighters and the incredibly swift federal response, the Mid-Valley would have been lost.

On July 8, we were let back into our home by local authorities as the fire burned higher up Basalt Mountain. About a week or so thereafter with the fire still burning, we undertook significant capital expenditures to make our home and property more fire resilient by limbing up branches as well as removing all dead wood.

But it’s just the start of a more daunting challenge to reconcile fire hazards with the warming climate.

Since then, little seems changed from local government’s policy perspective as we anticipate greater community conversation on living within an urban wildland fire interface and the aesthetic choices this brings to the valley.

It would be great if the Town of Basalt could reach across the aisle to Eagle County (or vice versa) and facilitate this existential dialogue with the public before collective memory fades further. At a minimum there should be a convenient spring, summer and fall curbside pick-up or designated drop areas to encourage fuel reduction. Despite an awesome early winter, another fire season is right around the corner and we need proactive leadership planning for our future now!  


Chris Touchette