Wildfire Prevention in Summit County


Our mission is to educate property owners in Summit, Park and Lake Counties on the importance of defensible space, its impacts on property insurance, and why homeowners should take it upon themselves to voluntarily mitigate.


Defensible Space Grant Information

Summit REALTORS® and Colorado Association of REALTORS®, along with our partners: American Family Insurance, COS Inspections, Alpine Bank, Title Company of the Rockies, and State Farm; are offering a Defensible Space Grant for local homeowners who cannot afford the cost to create defensible space on their property. The grant will pay for tree removal to meet defensible space guidelines as defined by your local fire department’s defensible space evaluation.

 

Our goal is to assist local, full-time resident property owners who want to mitigate their property, but do not have the financial resources to do so. If you would like to be considered for a Defensible Space Grant, click HERE for the Application. 

Colorado Project Wildfire:
CPW programs focus on efforts that are founded in education, awareness, and mitigation by individual property owners and communities alike. Summit REALTORS® plays a vital role in educating homeowners on wildfire mitigation and safety efforts. SUMMIT REALTORS® also understands our role as protectors of homeownership and property rights. We believe it is vital to help those vulnerable to wildfire risk achieve this shared responsibility by becoming the conduit by which property owners can educate themselves and advocate for incentives and constructive, yet voluntary, efforts that will have long-term, positive impacts.

Click here to learn more about Colorado Project Wildfire.


Defensible Space Recommendations 

Summit REALTORS®, local REALTORS®, and their insurance company partners are working to educate and encourage their clients and the public about the importance of voluntary wildfire mitigation – on their property, in their neighborhoods, and within their communities – and the wide-reaching benefits of their efforts.

What Is Defensible Space?
Defensible space is a natural and/or landscaped area around a structure that has been maintained and designed to reduce fire danger. 


Wildfire Preparation

Top 10 Wildfire Season Preparation Activities:
1.)  Remove dry materials within 5 feet of your home and under decks, porches, sheds, and play structures.
2.)  Remove leaves and needles from roofs and gutters.
3.)  Sweep porches and decks clear of any burnable plant material.
4.)  Move firewood at least 30 feet from your home.
5.)  Transfer items under decks or porches to a storage area.
6.)  Cover exposed eave or attic vents with metal mesh screening.
7.)  Ensure home address signs are clearly visible from the street.
8.)  Visit SCAlert.org to register for emergency notifications.
9.)  Confirm at least one alternate path out of your neighborhood.
10.)  Create an inventory of valuables in your home including written summaries, photos, and video.

Is Your Property At Risk?
At least 23,000 properties in Summit County are at risk of wildfire – is yours one of them? Summit County is one of the most proactive communities in the country in terms of Wildfire Awareness and Mitigation. We can’t, however, afford to rest on our laurels and past successes. We have an average of 25 wildfires every year and it is important for homeowners to assess their potential risk and do mitigation work where necessary. Review the items below to see if your property is in need of any fire mitigation. And remember, if cost, physical ability, or just finding the time is an issue, there are grant opportunities and volunteers available to help.
• A 5-foot fuel-free perimeter around the home and no trees or brush within 10-feet of propane tanks
• No leaves and needles on the roof, in gutters, or in the yard
• No branches overhanging roof or within 15-feet of chimney
• No brush within a 100 ft radius around the dwelling, or up to the property line (whichever is less), and all branches must be pruned to 8’ or 1/3 the height of the tree to remove ladder fuels


More Than Half of Colorado Residents Live With Some Wildfire Risk - What's Your WUI?

More than half of Colorado residents live in the wildland-urban interface and are at some risk of being affected by wildfire. {Source: CSFS WUI Risk Assessment 2017.} Click the links below to assess your WUI risk:



Summit County Chipping Program

The Chipping Program has a NEW SCHEDULE! The program has been condensed into one eight-week period. Two crews will be working simultaneously. One in the north end of the County, and one in the south. Each neighborhood will only be visited once!

Summit County government is helping residents and property owners create defensible space. If you clear conifer and aspen from around your home and stack it in a slash pile, we’ll chip it and haul it away for FREE. For information and participation guidelines, click here.


Wildfire Tax Credit Information

For details visit:  colorado.gov/pacific/tax/income-tax-subtractions


Potential Wildfire policies could increase the cost of home-ownership in Colorado.

In 2013, after Colorado experienced some devastating wildfires, the Governor's Wildfire Task Force submitted policy recommendations for preparedness and mitigation, including those that could impact property rights, values and sales, and the availability and cost of insurance.

SUMMIT REALTORS® believes wildfire preparedness should be achieved through education, voluntary mitigation efforts, and incentives, not by unreliable risk ratings and government mandates.

As a wildland-urban interface (WUI) - a place where human development is adjacent to or surrounded by wildlands - Summit County has more than 23,000 properties at risk for wildfire. This WUI designation means Summit County homeowners are at increased risk of the negative effects of proposed legislation.

Among the recommendations of concern include:

  • A disclosure that a home is within the WUI and at a higher risk for wildfire.
  • A website that would rate all WUI properties on a scale of 1-10 for wildfire risk.
  • Higher property taxes for homes in the WUI.
  • Costly and mandatory defensible space and wildfire mitigation.

The 2013 recommendations were not implemented, but unless homeowners are proactive with mitigation efforts, another bad wildfire season could motivate legislators to approve those detrimental mandates. 


Additional Resources and Information

Click the image below to download the 2021 Wildfire Mailer:

In the State of Colorado, wildfires are on the increase, due to drought and extensive fuel created by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. SUMMIT REALTORS® recognizes the need for local fire districts and homeowners alike to develop protections to aid against wildfire activity in Summit County, with a focus on proactive prevention. SUMMIT REALTORS® is the ultimate home-ownership and property rights advocate for our County and is working to educate and inform homeowners and the public to encourage voluntary opportunities for mitigation and creation of defensible spaces in and around Summit County.

To read the SAR Property and Wildfire Mitigation policy in full, please click here.

If you are a home or landowner, SAR encourages you to consider creating defensible spaces on your property. We have provided the resources below that can assist you in this process:

Additional Resources:

 

                

Click HERE to be redirected to the RED WHITE & BLUE Breckenridge Fire Department's website.

 

  Click HERE to be redirected to the Summit Fire-EMS website.