Two new homeowners’ associations received official designations as Firewise USA® sites, bringing the number of designations in Chaffee County to seven.
The Mesa Antero and Chateau Chaparral homeowners’ associations gained Firewise USA® recognition in partnership with the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and Chaffee County Fire Protection District.
“The Firewise USA® recognition of local efforts to reduce wildfire risks can benefit homeowners when seeking property insurance coverage, as well as protecting their homes and natural surroundings,” said Supervisory Forester Adam Moore of the CSFS Salida Field Office. He adds that federal and state grant opportunities often give weight to a Firewise USA® designation when determining who gets competitive funding.
Steps to receive the designation involve obtaining a wildfire risk assessment, forming a wildfire committee, creating an action plan based on the assessment, and making significant investments in reducing the community’s risk.
The wildfire risk assessment is key since it provides a thorough customized document evaluating the community’s wildfire fuels concerns, how a wildfire might move through a neighborhood, examples of concerns for homes and steps the community can take. Salida Forester Josh Kuehn expands on the risk assessment, “CSFS typically performs the assessment, and we find it is a great tool to focus mitigation efforts. We encourage your community to reach out to CSFS Salida for a wildfire risk assessment.”
Chaffee County’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) outlines numerous goals to reduce residents’ risk to the impacts of a wildfire, including Fire Adapted Communities with strong community engagement. Moore continues, “These two additional subdivisions becoming Firewise USA® communities is a great example of implementing the CWPP through increasing the total number of sites.”
Chaffee County’s other Firewise USA® Sites are Game Trail, Maysville, Alpine, St. Elmo and Piñon Ridge Estates.
Chaffee Fire and CSFS expressed appreciation of residents for their active part in creating defensible spaces in their neighborhoods and getting better prepared for an emergency situation. Contact the CSFS Salida Field Office at 719-539-2579 to get help taking steps in your neighborhood to become a Firewise USA® site.