around Sun Valley
Express Staff Writer
Valley has begun cutting a 150-foot-wide swath across hillsides of
sagebrush on property owned by the Weyyakin Homeowners Association and
Sun Valley Co.
help from a federal grant, the city of Sun Valley is beginning to cut a
fire break between potential wild fire fuels and homes. This break,
which is more than a quarter mile long and is as wide as 150 feet, is
behind the Weyyakin subdivision south of Ketchum and is on property
owned by the Weyyakin homeowners. Express
photo by Willy Cook
protective firebreak is possible because of a $137,000 federal grant Sun
Valley secured following the 2000 summer wildfire season, which grabbed
the attention of Washington, D.C., lawmakers. Swaths protecting nearly
all of Sun Valley are pending only a hearing this July by the Sun Valley
Elkhorn Association, Sun Valley Fire Chief Jeff Carnes said.
said the decisions to go ahead with the project follows three public
hearings last summer. He said residents at those hearings seemed to
favor the concept, but were concerned about the eventual appearance. He
said he hopes the cuts made last week behind the Weyyakin subdivision
will help alleviate some of the public concern.
because most of the cuts are planned for private property, property
owners have been included in project contemplation.
talked to all the homeowners and everybody who borders it," Carnes
sagebrush and other shrubs are cut using a giant track hoe with a brush
cutter attached to a 70-foot arm. The implement, which works much like a
weed eater, weighs about 2,800 pounds. It leaves about six inches of
native plants and grasses in its wake.