Colorado Town Approves Wildfire Management Plan

As Castle Rock faces an increasing threat of wildfires, town officials urge residents to use the recommendations in the plan to eliminate risks and protect their homes against future blazes.

2 minute read

February 3, 2022, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View of Castle Rock, Colorado

Jeff Albright / Castle Rock, Colorado

Castle Rock, located 30 miles south of Denver in a "very high risk" wildfire zone, has adopted a Community Wildfire Protection Plan aimed at making residents aware of hazards and regulating the design of buildings and surrounding vegetation, reports John Aguilar. According to the plan, local homes are threatened by "Flammable outbuildings, decks, projections, and fences," "decadent timber stands," and "natural and ornamental vegetation close to structures."

According to Aguilar, "It’s a hazard rating that has taken on a sharper significance and gravity since a wildfire blazed through southern Boulder County less than a month ago, destroying nearly 1,100 homes and damaging another 149 — a catastrophe that many homeowners never thought possible in a suburban setting miles removed from the fire-prone foothills."

The plan divides the town into 19 zones, assessing fire risk for each one. Only two areas are at "moderate" risk, while the other 17 are at "high" or "very high" risk. But while the plan seeks to identify threatened areas and risk factors, officials warn that "there are certain weather and environmental conditions that can’t be corralled or restrained by even the most capable firefighting forces."

Officials urge residents to evaluate their homes and properties for fire risk and take actions to mitigate the danger and consider ignition-resistant building materials and fire-resistant perimeters. Meanwhile, authorities are assessing ways to prevent the thousands of acres of parks and open space that make Castle Rock attractive to many locals from becoming a "highway for fire" in the event of a fast-moving blaze.

Thursday, January 27, 2022 in The Denver Post

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