Due to Colorado’s arid climate and many forests, homeowners and landowners may be particularly vulnerable to wildfires. It is important to keep this threat in mind when buying or building a home. Homes in many areas of Colorado are threatened, damaged or destroyed each year by wild fires. Anyone who is thinking of purchasing a home in forested or otherwise fire-prone areas should consider the hazard presented to the property by a wildfire and should attempt to mitigate its effects. By doing wildfire mitigation work, homeowners can substantially increase their safety and reduce the risk to life and property.
In Boulder County, land use codes require individuals who are constructing a new home in forested areas, or remodeling some existing homes, create and implement a Wildfire Mitigation Plan, which includes the creation and maintenance of effective defensible space. Other homeowners are encouraged, but not required, to create and maintain effective defensible space. Defensible space is an area between a house and an oncoming wildfire where the vegetation has been managed to reduce the wildfire threat and allow firefighters to safely defend the house.
Wildfire does not recognize property lines. If you effectively mitigate your property, you may help save your neighbor’s home and vice versa. Wildfires can impact entire communities. Linked defensible spaces are a key community protection strategy. Having a defensible space around your home may also lower your insurance premiums.
You may find these links to community wild fire protection plans useful: bouldercountycwpp.org; csfs.colostate.edu/wildfire-mitigation/community-wildfire-protection-plans.