COLORADO CITY, Colorado — Wildfire damage in Colorado is always a concern for everyone in the state. With an unpredictable fire season ahead of this year, many are wondering what can be done to help protect their property.
But with some help from state officials and local partners, you can learn about mitigation techniques that can help keep your home safe from the flames.
Today the Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Prevention, CCO, and the ARWC partnered together to offer classes this month about how you can mitigate fire damage in your community, and on your property.
Barbara Randl attended one of those classes this morning. She had concerns that there were not any city or county officials present learning information.
She says, "fire mitigation needs to be like any preventative program. You need to address the issue before it occurs".
The class was taught by Paul Minow, a former fireman of 39 years who now works for the Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Prevention as a contractor. He specializes in making and understanding various maps to help firefighters understand how a wildfire might affect an area.
They're called Fuel maps. They look at what in the environment might act as fuel for the fire, such as closely grouped trees and dead grasslands.
According to Minow, he's"... using it to be able to inform homeowners on what they need or could do on their property to be able to mitigate".
Some of his best advice is to categorize your property into three different zones. The first zone is 3-5 feet around the area of your house. The second zone is 5-20 feet away from your house. Anything after that is the third zone.
This is where good mitigation practices are key. Minow advises,
"Up close to your house, make sure you've got that three to five feet zone that's basically non-burnable, and then out from five feet out to thirty feet, you have a fairly thin area, an area that doesn't have a lot in it, and then out past that, you can have more trees, more brush, more things"
This will hopefully stop any fire that might be spreading outside of your home from jumping to your home.
Minow also recommends adding metal screens in front of your windows instead of fiberglass. If you have any cracks or openings in your house, such as between your roof and walls, you should fill them with caulk.
This will stop any embers from floating in the wind to your attic, which can spark a house fire
If you missed this last class, there's still time to see the last one. It will be held at the Colorado City library on July 29, three weeks from now.
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