Fourth graders from King-Murphy Elementary School got the chance to learn and take an active role in fire mitigation — right on the property of their school.
Mary Gordon's fourth-grade class headed outside with rakes and gloves on April 25, despite the snowy weather, and put their mitigation knowledge from Evergreen Fire/Rescue's Risk Reduction Coordinator Einar Jensen to work.
This mitigation effort was part of a semester-long partnership between Evergreen Fire/Rescue and Clear Creek School District. Jensen has been in the 4th-grade classroom throughout the last few months working with the kids on becoming junior wildfire ambassadors.
"This program is a way to engage and empower fourth graders," he said.
April 25 was the first day of boots-on-the-ground mitigation, but Jensen has been in the classroom seven times this semester teaching about the environment, wildfire risks and more. He said the kids were ready to work and treated around an eighth of an acre.
"The kids were spectacular, they each brought a rake and work gloves," Jensen said.
The junior ambassador program has been a great collaboration in the community between Evergreen Fire/Rescue, the school district and the community, Jensen said.
Evergreen Fire/Rescue's website has many resources for people learning about mitigation and how to do their part. Here are some tips on basic defensible space mitigation from the department:
- Protecting the area around homes or buildings, known as defensible space, involves three zones of space stretching from structures.
- Evergreen Fire/Rescue's guide to home ignition zones recommends that zone one, which is space within zero to five feet of a structure, be cleared of ignitable debris like pine needles, dead leaves, slash and other flammable vegetation.
- In zone two, within five to 30 feet of a structure, it recommends to mow tall grasses, remove fuels like logs and mulch and remove diseased or dying trees.
- In zone three, within 30 to 100 feet of a structure, it recommends mowing unnecessary grass and spacing trees.
These are only a few recommendations on defensible space mitigation, for a complete look at the guidelines, visit the Evergreen Fire/Rescue website.