Environment: Create Defensible Space Before Fire Season Strikes

The state's forest service says homeowners in the wildland-urban interface need to fix up their properties now to help mitigate wildfire in the future.
February 2013

On the heels of a memorably destructive fire season last year, the Colorado State Forest Service is telling Front Range landowners now’s the time to prepare for another massive wildfire.

Folks who live in the wildland-urban interface—that is, in grasslands, shrublands, foothills, or mountains—need to make defensible-space plans around their homes. Among the CSFS recommendations, landowners should mow long grass, rake thick beds of pine needles, and clear gutters, decks, and roofs of combustible materials. Hundreds of homes in Colorado have burned in the past several years because of poorly maintained properties, which includes forgetting to prune or trim shrubs and trees or failing to move logs or wood chips far away from homes.

Last year, at least a dozen wildfires destroyed more than 100,000 acres of land and forced more than 30,000 people to evacuate in June. The forest service’s property protection guidelines are available here or at any CSFS district office.

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