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Deer Lake Association
A member of the Minnesota Lakes Association



To all Deer Lake Residents:


2018 Firewise Update



  • Firewise budget is slashed to 35% of former budget.
  • No chipper at UPM Blandin (burnt out and not replaced).
  • No biomass fuel centers (MN legislature voted to release XCEL Energy from biomass contract).
  • No work crew.
  • Brush pick-up plan is now every other year. Deer Lake made the list for 2018.
  • Only accepting brush/trees trimmed/cut from within the 100’ defensible area around the main homestead structure or to maintain a 12’ wide, 14’ high driveway access. Do not pull wood out of the deep forest. Piles must consist of material that either allows better access to the home or keeps the home safe from fire.
  • No flammable products (like woodchips) within 5’ of the home.
  • Instead of being used for fuel or chips, the picked up brush will be burned.



  • Become a DLA member if not already.
  • Get a 2018 tracking form. Your pile will not be picked up without a form. Either down load one from the DLA web site, or ask Joan Ratzlaff at 651-271-3341 (north side)/Diana Lieffring at 218-327-5332 (south side) for a form.
  • Fill out the form entering estimates for annual hours worked and costs for upgrades.
  • Pick up dates: South side – July 16 to 19, North side – July 23 to 26.
  • North/South Deer Lake boundaries: Chase Lake Road on the west and Baker Road on the east.
  • Submit tracking forms one week before scheduled pickup (July 9 to Diana for the South side/July 16 to Joan for the North side). These should be submitted every year, even in off years and even if you have no brush pile as they can be used to obtain FEMA funds in the event of a bad storm.
  • Mark the pile with a colored ribbon.
  • Make sure your blue fire number is visible.
  • Please understand that Firewise will not pick up your material unless it comes from the 100’ defensible area around the main homestead or to maintain a 12’ wide 14’ high driveway access. 


Firewise Tips:

  • Pick up an updated Firewise brochure from the June 16 general meeting.
  • Make driveway access 12’ wide by 14’ tall.
  • Clean roof lines where leaves collect.
  • Clean gutters.
  • Clear 6’ around propane gas tanks.
  • Clean under porches and decks. Use screening or leaf blow under there.
  • Maintain areas already cleared by trimming new growth.
  • QUIT CLEANING DEEP FOREST AREAS. Stick to the defensible area which is 100’ around the main building. If the garage or outbuildings are within 30’ of the main building, then clean 100’ around those buildings too (radiant heat can trigger fire).

Here is the form to fill out and send to the Coordinators:

FIREWISE Tracking Form


Your Firewise Coordinators:     

Joan Ratzlaff at 651-271-3341 (north side)

Diana Lieffring at 218-327-5332 (south side)

North-side return to:

South-side return to:

Joan Ratzlaff

Diana Lieffring

34842 Deer Path Drive

36264 Christmas Pt Trl

Deer River, MN 56636

Grand Rapids, MN 55744

by July 16


by July 9