VAIL — Helicopter logging operations will be taking place soon to reduce the wildfire risk on U.S. Forest Service land near the Intermountain neighborhood in West Vail. The project is part of a multi-year fuels-reduction project coordinated by the White River National Forest, Colorado State Forest Service and Vail Fire & Emergency Services.
Preparation work is scheduled to begin in the next few days, when crews will arrive to cut dead and diseased trees in preparation for the helicopter removal, which will occur later in August and into September. Crews will be working from dawn to dusk, Monday through Friday, with some cutting and hauling of logs allowed on Saturdays. The helicopter operations will be limited to daylight hours Monday through Friday and will continue for approximately three weeks.
The logging work represents the second phase of the Intermountain Fuels Reduction Project, which seeks to reduce the amount of fuel available for wildfire, reduce the number of dead standing trees, regenerate areas of unhealthy aspen and improve wildlife habitat. The project’s first phase began in October 2016, with fuel-reduction work completed on 17 acres.
The upcoming helicopter logging will be used to target a 43-acre area with the removal of approximately 3,000 tons of woody fuel to significantly reduce wildfire hazards in the area. The trees will be flown by a Blackhawk helicopter to log landing areas on the upper bench of Donovan Park and Deer Underpass State Wildlife Area, located at the west end of Basingdale Boulevard. The operation will require temporary closures of a portion of Matterhorn Circle.
Logs removed during the helicopter logging will…
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