I am the president and one of the founders of the North Park County Fire Safe Council. We are a located in a Colorado Front Range WUI community near Bailey Colorado. Building on a core base of three Firewise subdivisions, our initial focus is on education and outreach to other area HOA’s in an effort to encourage individual champions to take the lead in becoming Firewise in their subdivisions.
We work in collaboration with the Platte Canyon Fire Protection District on mitigation grants and to encourage homeowners to request defensible space assessments. We also author a monthly op ed in our local newspaper titled “Getting Firewise”.
A little more about me: I am currently retired. I am a Mechanical Engineer and Architect by training and spent the bulk of my career leading turnarounds and startups in the manufacturing sector.
FEMA PDM Grant
Working in collaboration with the Platte Canyon Fire Protection District, we are currently in the final stages of a $325K Pre Disaster Mitigation grant to treat 150 acres on and around the Deer Creek Elementary School. We have received approval and are currently awaiting funding.
County Road Rights of Way Treatment
Many of our North Park County Colorado rights of way have heavy fuel loads on one or both sides. Some of these roads are critical one way in, one way out evacuation routes serving hundreds and in one case thousands of homes. This situation is not addressed in our current CWPP's and had not been on the radar of our county commissioners. In collaboration with the Platte Canyon Fire Protection District, our council met with the commissioners and convinced them to create a MOU to allow Platte Fire to mitigate the ROW's. Once the MOU is finalized we will use Crowdfunding to finance the project.
Community Outreach and Education (ongoing)
Our council has been primarily focused on outreach to motivate other HOA's to get Firewise. Toward that end we have developed a presentation that lays out the Wildland Fire risk in our area (the Why) and what individuals and subdivisions can do to moderate that risk (the What and the How). So far, we have one new Firewise community established and another pending. We also organized last year's Wildfire Prepared Day event held in the local High School auditorium and author a monthly "Getting Firewise" article in the Flume.