Eagle County is situated in central Colorado and encompasses 1,694 square miles of resort
related, mountainous terrain. National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands comprise approximately 80% of Eagle County’s land area. The remaining 20%, held in private ownership, are primarily located along the transportation corridors and within several valleys and canyons feeding off of these corridors. The combined effect of the limited amount of privately owned land, coupled with topographic constraints, forces the majority of the County’s population to be concentrated
within tight geographical limits.
Eagle County adopted wildfire regulations in January 2003 to provide standards to reduce or minimize impacts of wildfire hazards on properties, the occupants of properties and the occupants of adjacent properties, as well as to facilitate access to buildings by firefighters in the event of a wildfire. These regulations apply to all new development, new construction, and all additions to existing construction.
The county also adopted a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) in 2005, and a comprehensive revision in 2011. The purpose of the plan is to unite agencies having jurisdiction in Eagle County, including the towns of Vail, Avon, Basalt, Eagle, Gypsum, Minturn, Red Cliff, and the county’s five fire protection districts under a single plan. Since its creation in 2005, the CWPP has been the guiding document behind many wildfire mitigation efforts in Eagle County.
Eagle County facilitates an informal wildfire council. The group meets regularly to review aspects of assessing current wildfire risk and mitigation strategies; funding opportunities to complement private and public land projects; CWPP updates and associated projects; as well as interagency training opportunities. The council consists of agency representatives and stakeholders from throughout Eagle County, including: the USFS/BLM; the Colorado State Forest Service; Eagle County OEM; Basalt FPD; Gypsum FPD; Greater Eagle FPD; Eagle River FPD; Vail Fire and Emergency Services; Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department; Vail Resorts; Cordillera Metro District; Eagle-Vail Metro District; Eagle River Water and Sanitation District; the Bellyache Ridge HOA, the Colorow HOA, the Pilgrim Downs HOA, the West Lake Creek Company, the Eagle County Watershed Council, the Beaver Creek Resort Company and Beaver Creek Public Safety.
During the summer of 2005, and again in 2015, Eagle County contracted a private company to map the wildfire hazard on all private and public lands in Eagle County. This map is used as a tool for implementing wildfire regulations, and to help identify priority areas for wildfire mitigation projects. The map can be viewed at: http://eaglecounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Viewer/index.html?appid=9dde04d5015b4a26a8ec76455bd5a694