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Tumbleweed troubles could ease soon for EPC neighborhood

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Mar 19 2014 08:19:18 PM CDT

A homeowners' association in El Paso County says it doesn't have responsibility for removing tumbleweeds from private property but could haul them from common areas.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

A local homeowners' association said it's not responsible for moving tumbleweeds off private property but possibly could from common areas like streets.

Residents of the Cuchares Ranch subdivision just east of the Colorado Springs Airport said Wednesday their association plans "a community effort" to remove tall piles of tumbleweeds from neighborhood streets.

The piles come from what residents have removed from their homes and yards in recent days.  It's the latest example of a problem that has plagued many areas of southern Colorado since heavy rains last fall.

Exactly how and when the tumbleweeds would be removed, however, remains unclear.

Residents like Jajonelle Dejarnette are worried that the tumbleweeds could become fuel for a wildfire.

"If somebody is smoking a cigarette, if they go ahead and flick it, and the ashes catch fire to some of these tumbleweeds, that's definitely going to be a problem out here," he said.

But Scott Campbell, assistant fire marshal for El Paso County, said it's unfair to consider tumbleweeds a fire hazard."

"When it gets dry, a patch of dry grass is a fire hazard, too," he said.  "So is a house.  It's made of wood.  But if a tumbleweed catches fire and blows and bounces around, it can start bigger fires."

Campbell said residents can burn tumbleweeds on their property but only under certain conditions and requiring a smoke emissions permit from the county Health Department, along with the permission of a local fire department.

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