“Try to be proactive” – ​​CBS Denver

FRANKTOWN, Colo. (CBS4) – As local governments across the state work to protect communities from another wildfire disaster, a group of volunteers are spending the weekend helping homeowners mitigate fire risk around their homes .

The three-day effort involves nearly 100 Team Rubicon volunteers who are focused on more than a dozen properties around Franktown.

(credit: CBS)

“There are a lot of strong winds here. There are a lot of brushy oaks and debris on the ground that can really cause a lot of devastation,” said Megan Kaufman, planning coordinator with Team Rubicon.

On Saturday, a chorus of chainsaws filled the air near Harry Woods’ home for four decades. Each tree cut and cleared provided much-needed peace of mind.

“Every year when it’s hot and dry, we’re worried,” Wood said. “We try to be proactive before this season comes around and prune the branches and try to keep the mowed grass off the roadsides.”

For Woods and many others in Franktown, fire mitigation isn’t a new concept, but the urgency has grown two months after the Marshall fire.

(credit: CBS)

“It brings back memories of what can happen and kind of reminds you to be proactive and do whatever you can,” he said.

Woods’ home is one of fourteen stages of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit made up of veteran volunteers. This is all part of a joint effort with Douglas County Fire Mitigation Specialist.

“We have identified some homes in the community that are at much higher risk, and some owners who are unable to do much of this work themselves, whether for disability reasons, financial reasons, we so we’re here to help get them out the best we can,” Kaufman said.

Team Rubicon crews cut down diseased trees and remove them from spaces near homes at no cost. They also clean up branches and debris that can fuel a forest fire.

(credit: CBS)

“I think by the time we leave at the end of the weekend, this community will be in a much better place than when we arrived,” Kaufman said.

Woods called Team Rubicon’s help a blessing.

“I’m so grateful,” Woods said.

“They are so professional. We greatly appreciate what they do.

Volunteers will be back first thing Sunday morning to complete fire mitigation work.