Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Fire Department team up for fire mitigation projects

zoo and fire department team up
FOX21 File Photo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– As the weather heats up and things dry out, emergency responders begin to worry about wildland fires.

In order to combat the problem, they’re getting a head start on their mitigation projects.

As part of National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, the Colorado Springs Fire Department teamed up with the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to protect the animals and surrounding homes from future fires.

They took down trees and vegetation that could potentially fuel flames.

“We really push sharing the responsibility, understanding your wildfire risk, and understanding that wildfire doesn’t know property lines,” Jeremy Taylor with the Colorado Springs Fire Department said. “It doesn’t know perimeters and it doesn’t care whose property is what. All it knows is it finds that vegetation and when we have overgrown, dense, diseased vegetation, then we have catastrophic wildfire conditions.”

TwoCor Projects – an organization that helps put children on the right path by doing projects that better the community – is also getting involved in the effort.

“We really want to teach values through work and through therapy programs that we have and this is perfect, this manual labor, because it produces a lot of teaching opportunities through the work itself,” TwoCor Project Manager Peter Milauskas said.

Collin Miller was part of the effort.

He says it was tough work, but that it was worth it to know he made a difference.

“I think it’s great to know that you’re a part of something bigger… It’s good to help out other people and get into the community a little bit more,” Miller said.

“It makes these kids feel appreciated, needed, wanted and it’s really a good thing for us to do,” Milauskas said.

In just a few hours, the kids cleared out hundreds of trees.

The Fire Department will be putting them through a wood chipper on Monday.

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