Wildfire Risk Reduction in Duluth and Alden Townships


Believe it or not, spring time, before green up, is our most vulnerable time for fire.  Are you prepared?

Scientific Fact: A high percentage of homes lost in a wildfire are not caused by the wall of fire sweeping thru an area, but, by the embers from that fire, that will land, smolder and ignite in a combustible area near or on your home. Embers can travel over a mile or more in a high wind situation.


Here’s a Top Ten checklist to improve your structures wildfire resiliency:

  • Remove all dead vegetation, pine needles and dried leaves from gutters, roof tops and within 30 feet of your buildings foundations.
  • Move firewood piles 30 feet away from your buildings.
  • Remove evergreen branches on or within at least 10 feet of your siding, deck, porch, roof or chimney stack
  • Within 30 feet of your buildings prune evergreen trees up to six to ten feet from the ground, for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height. Thin or remove all small diameter balsam trees within 30 feet of all structures.
  • Clear vegetation from under and around stationary propane tanks. Keep propane tanks full.
  • Make sure your address sign is made out of reflective material and is clearly visible from all approaches to your property.
  • Remove combustible materials from carports, crawl spaces, decks and elevated porches. Place 1/8” metal mesh screening between low profile decks/porches and crawl spaces to block embers and combustible materials from collecting underneath.
  • Make sure eaves and soffit vents are also covered with 1/8” metal mesh and are in good repair, to prevent embers from entering your building.
  • Make sure the access to your property is cleared of trees and over hanging branches at a minimum of 14 feet wide and 14 feet high. This is for safe access for Emergency personnel and their vehicles which include ambulances and fire trucks.
  • Within 0 to 5 feet of your structure’s foundations have non combustible materials and/or low flammable vegetation. Keep all grass/vegetation well watered thru out season.

If you are interested in more things you can do to help your community be more wildfire resilient check out the MN DNR Firewise website or contact your local Fire Department and/or St. Louis County Firewise Coordinator,  Gloria Erickson, 218-365-0878.

Free 911 Sign Campaign

Free 911 signs (and posts if needed) will be available in July for all Residents of Duluth or Alden township who have an out of date 911 address sign (one sided, non-reflective) or lack any sign. Contact Gopher State One Call (811) before setting your post.  Neighbors may want to coordinate to have their underground lines marked at the same time.  Pickup times will be posted in the newsletter, at the townhall, and on the township website.

 911 Sign Installation instructions, rural St. Louis County

  • All new signs installed after March 2003 must contain the numbers on both sides of the sign and shall be installed perpendicular to the road.
  • All signs must contain a red background with white numbering and shall be of a reflective material. The bottom of a sign shall be no less than 4’ above the level of the road surface.
  • The sign post shall be placed within 10’ of the driveway access and at least 10’ from the edge of the road surface.

If you need assistance to install your 911 sign, please leave your name and contact information with the clerk at the town hall or email:


Spring Brush Cleanup for Wildfire Protection

A new grant from AIM:  Action, Implementation, and Mitigation Partnershipfor 2019  will allow us to provide curbside brush chipping  this spring (2019) for Duluth and Alden township residents.  We will determine suitable routes for the chipping service after we have received your requests.  Announcements will be made with the dates, routes, and other pertinent information.

We have A tree service has been contracted to drive on roads and chip brush that has been neatly piled at the end of designated driveways.  In order to make this efficient, the brush needs to be piled with the butt end toward the road and located at the end of driveways where they can easily access the material.  Chips maybe left with the homeowners, if desired.  No invasive buckthorn please.

If you are interested in this FREE service, please fill out a chipping request form found HERE or email your request to:   (Please include name,address, and phone, and indicate if you need help with the clearing). 

FIREWISE Volunteers Needed

Volunteer to put your name on a Township call list for residents who are physically unable to do the trimming or can’t haul brush to the drop-off site. Please call volunteer Bruce Hauger at 590-2768 or leave your name and contact information at the Town Hall at 525-5705