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Castle Pines adopts wildfire mitigation plan

The Douglas County city is now added to the growing list of cities having wider discussions about how to prevent urban wildfires following the Marshall Fire.

CASTLE PINES, Colo. — After the Marshall Fire, cities and counties are creating plans to reduce the risk of urban wildfires in their areas. 

The Castle Pines city council recently adopted a new wildfire mitigation plan in a 6-0 vote. The plan details suggestions homeowners could undertake to make their homes less susceptible to fire. 

Castle Pines worked in partnership with South Metro Fire Rescue to develop the plan, detailed in a 36-page document

South Metro describes three different categories that homeowners are encouraged to explore for their properties: landscaping, home hardening (the use of different materials that are less flammable) and creating an evacuation plan. 

Einar Jensen, Risk Reduction Specialist with South Metro, said homeowners are encouraged to take three steps first:  

  • Removing all juniper trees from their property.
  • Cleaning out gutters regularly to remove dead and dry needles, leaves and debris.
  • Signing up for their county's notification system.

"The Marshall Fire reminded all of us once again that regardless of where you live in Colorado, you could be vulnerable to a wildfire. It reminded us that we all have a role to play," Jensen said.

As part of the mitigation plan, South Metro staff will also work individually with homeowners who would like to make changes on their property to help them take the steps the home will benefit from most.

"All the partners in your community want to help you, the resident, do better for wildfire mitigation and protecting your family. By protecting your family, you are also going to protect those first responders. By working together, we can reduce risk on a community level," Jensen said. 

Fire agencies can also direct residents to financial resources that may make changes easier from a cost perspective.

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