COLORADO — In a year with multiple massive wildfires in Colorado, including the largest in the state’s history, there is a valuable new online resource for individuals to assess wildfire risk where they live. “The science behind the risk and then why they need to take those steps first and foremost to be safe, protect their home, family and property, but then also to protect their insurance," said Rocky Mountain Insurance Association, Executive Director, Carole Walker.
The site was developed by the Colorado State Forest Service. There is collaboration with leaders in Colorado realty and insurance industries who work to get homeowners to reduce wildfire risk on their property.
Within what is called the Colorado Forest Atlas, there is a section titled the Risk Viewer. It offers links to layers of map details showing things like fire risk, potential burn intensity, types of vegetation and where fires have previously burned. "What this mapping does is give people the tools to look at their risk," said Walker.
The visual information is supported with data. For example, 18% of El Paso County, Colorado is considered in the highest risk category for wildfire danger.
"Then there's a lot of information that goes with the mapping that tells them what to do about it," Walker said. Through recognizing and better understanding risk, the hope is motivation toward mitigating it. The site includes guidance on how to go about reducing wildfire risk.