Genesee is located in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), by definition a high hazard fire environment. It is not a question of "if" wildfires will occur, but "when" they will occur. There are steps that can be taken before a wildfire occurs that improve the survivability of you and your home and that will help firefighters be able to defend your home from an approaching wildfire.
Defensible space is the natural and landscaped area around a home or other structure that has been modified to reduce fire hazard. There are both initial and annual projects that will create and maintain defensible space and give firefighters the best chance of defending your home.
Studies show that firebrands and embers from wildfires, which can travel up to a mile from the wildfire front, ignite most structures, not the main fire front. There is a lot you can do to reduce the risk of a home ignition from embers and firebrands traveling in advance of the fire front. These little things and details can determine if your home survives a wildfire – or not.
- Embers from an active wildfire can travel up to a mile from the wildfire front. Identify areas of vulnerability around your home and how you can protect your home from ignition due to embers
- What you can do to reduce the risk that your house will ignite during a wildfire. - (13 min)
A scientific approach demonstrating the significance of little things can make a big difference
- Minimizing the risk that embers will ignite a fire that destroys your home - (2 min)
Colorado-specific consumer advisory: Wildfire mitigation and insurance tips
Report of the Wildfire Insurance and Forest Health Task Force Report. This 2013 report was commissioned by Colorado’s governor following the devastating fires of 2012 to "identify and reach agreement on ways to encourage activities, practices and policies that would reduce the risk of loss in the wildland-urban interface areas, and provide greater customer choice and knowledge of insurance options."
Tips from the Trenches: Does Your Safety Net have Holes? This 52-minute video from United Policyholders, a non-profit organization that is an insurance resource for consumers, reviews how to read your policy, including the fine print, and determine if your coverage is adequate. Historically in Colorado, as many of 50% of people who lost their homes in a wildfire found that they were underinsured.
Watch videos about actual wildfires in Colorado and elsewhere to learn how firefighters approach defending homes from wildfire, including the benefits of mitigation.
- What might firefighters be thinking as they deal with a wildfire in Genesee. (19 min.)
Covers controlling wildfire versus protecting homes, size up of fire behavior, offense or defensive strategies, incident command system, developing an action plan, communications, structure triage and whether to abandon protecting a home.
- Fire Adapted Communities. (12 min.)
A Case Study from Colorado Springs and the Waldo Canyon Fire. Demonstrates the benefit of wildfire mitigation in a community.
- Watch firefighters defending a home in the Black Forest fire in Colorado Springs (5 min.)
- The Fire Line. Wildfires in Colorado. (27 min.)
Overview of risks in Colorado
- Fire in Paradise. (54 min)
Frontline episode documenting the timeline and issues associated with the Paradise Fire
- Are you and your home ready for wildfire, are you prepared to evacuate? (6 min)
Produced by CalFire but relevant to Coloradans, too
- Conversation with Jack Cohen and the importance of home hardening (52 min)
Wildfire Wednesdays 2020 webinar: Defensible Space and Home Hardening. Daniel Beveridge, Wildfire Mitigation Program Specialist, Colorado State Forest Service. (1 hour 13 minutes)
Wildfire Wednesdays 2020 Webinar: Fire Ecology and Behavior. Tony Cheng PhD, Professor, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship at Colorado State University and Director, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute. (1 hour 12 minutes)