Wildland Fire Mitigation

Fire Safety Guidelines
Wildland fire is a naturally occurring event that will happen at some point in time. All property owners should take steps to mitigate for this event by creating “defensible space” zones around your home.

Wildland fire mitigation Grand County Division of Natural Resources (DNR) in conjunction with the Colorado State Forest Service encourages all property owners to practice “fire wise” techniques for home construction and creating defensible space on your property. Wildfire hazards exist on most forested home sites. Many hazards can be reduced to acceptable levels by following these fire safety guidelines:
  • Thin out continuous tree and brush cover within 30 feet of your house and structures. Adequate thinning is reached in the 30 foot defensible space when the outer edge of tree crowns are at least 10 to 12 feet apart. If your home is on a slope, enlarge the defensible space, especially on the downhill side.
  • Dispose of all slash and debris left from the thinning in accordance with the Grand County Burn Plan, lop and scatter (cut debris into small pieces and disperse over area to accelerate decomposition), chip, or haul to a disposal site.
  • Remove dead limbs, leaves, and other ground litter within the defensible space.
  • Stack firewood uphill and at least 15 feet from your home.
  • Maintain a greenbelt immediately around your home using grass, flower gardens, or ornamental shrubbery. An alternative is rock or other non-combustible material.
  • Mow dry grasses / forbs to a height of 2 inches or less.
  • Prune branches from trees within the defensible space to a height of 10 feet above the ground. Also remove other potential “ladder fuels” such as shrubs and small trees from beneath large trees.
  • Trim branches that extend over your roof and that are within 15 feet of a chimney.
  • Clean roofs and gutters of pine needles to eliminate an ignition source.
  • Reduce density of forest at least 100 feet out from the home site (entire lot is preferable).

Contact Information
For more information on creating defensible space and mitigating for wildland fire, please contact Grand County DNR at 970-887-0745; or Colorado State Forest Service at 970-887-3121; or BeWildfireReady.org.