I have been a citizen of Leadville for the past four years and during this time we have had wildfires encroach upon our county.

Each year they get closer. Earlier this year and years previously wildfires have begun with power lines bursting onto dry grass in California.

Xcel energy refuses to trim the trees around houses due to “private property” rights. Well, we won’t have any private property if they don’t trim back the trees surrounding their power lines or at least bury them as we pay them for the service.

The U.S. Forest Service also maintains the belief that the dead trees and dry brush should be left alone. These policies cause avalanches, mudslides and of course wildfires.

Water has been diverted through the mountains and these areas by construction and the lack of a purposeful water storm drain system that feeds the forests and not just the river.

Pruning the dead branches and removing the dead trees from the fire prone areas is one way to prevent the fires. We can prevent the subsequent results from fires by replanting trees in these areas and doing controlled burns over areas to control the undergrowth.

Making our community a fire wise one can help with fire awareness amongst our citizens and prevent the town of Leadville from turning into a tinder box like California seems to have become.

If we create legislation for the entire state on this issue by having every community become fire wise we can reduce/stop our fires from being the hundred-thousand acres plus burned to smaller ones that can be controlled better by the fire department as a preventative measure.

As well,we should use alternatives to chemical salt to melt out our snow to make sure that we don’t continue to contaminate the landscape. Heated roadways, sidewalks and driveways powered by solar trees is energy efficient and a great way to make sure that clean water gets to where it needs to be ... up in the mountains to make sure that the town and county doesn’t burn down.

We all love the mountains and the trees where we live why don’t we all become the caretakers that we should be to preserve and protect the lands that we love.

Jeremiah Loyd

Leadville

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