Wildfire Mitigation FAQs
Do I live in a wildfire hazard zone? How do I know what my risk is?
Many residents in Region VIII states live in what is known as the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), areas where human development is close to the natural terrain and flammable vegetation. With the continued expansion of residential construction into previously undeveloped forests and wildlands, a rising number of homes are at risk from wildfires.
In order to determine your property’s risk, contact your local fire department. They will be able to provide specific information about your community’s hazards, and may be able to offer an individual assessment on your home.
Colorado residents may view your property’s risk at the Colorado Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal
What steps can I take to protect my property against wildfires?
Key protective actions include creating a defensible space around your home, using fire-resistant building materials, and regularly clearing combustibles around your home that could serve as fuel for a wildfire. Three good resources with detailed information on how to mitigate are:
- FireWise Wildfire Preparedness Materials
- Protect your Property from Wildfire: Rocky Mountain Edition-a comprehensive mitigation guide that includes state-specific information, such as native fire-resistant vegetation to plant around your home.
- FEMA’s Technical Fact Sheet Series, A Home Builder’s Guide to Construction in Wildfire Zones.
What are some things I need to consider after a wildfire in my community?
Wildfires dramatically alter the terrain and ground conditions of the affected area. If your community is impacted by a wildfire, you may be at an even greater risk of flooding. See FloodSmart’s Flood After Fire Risks for information on post-wildfire flooding hazards and how to protect your property with flood insurance.
FEMA’s Rebuilding after a Wildfire fact sheet also highlights information about creating a defensible space around your home and some other post-wildfire considerations.
How can I ensure my business and employees are prepared for wildfires?
Check out this Wildfire Preparedness Checklist from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which outlines key actions for your business to take before, during, and after a wildfire. Also visit America’s PrepareAthon! Wildfire Safety Prepare your Organization guides, which provide information on how to hold a tabletop exercise to help your organization assess and improve its ability to maintain operations when affected by a wildfire.
I am a teacher, how can I get my students prepared for wildfires?
Visit Ready for Kids for youth emergency preparedness curriculum guides by grade level.
Additional Resources by State
- Colorado State Forest Service-Resources for Homeowners and Landowners
- Colorado Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal
- Ready Colorado-Wildfire Preparedness Page
Wildfire Mitigation Tools and Resources for the Fire Management Community
- Fire Adapted Communities / Ready, Set, Go! -these complementary campaigns focus on the “whole community” approach to preparing for wildfires, with tailored resources so everyone in the community understands their role and what they can do to reduce the overall risk.
- Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network- created to increase the sharing of learning and innovations related to community wildfire resilience and those applying fire adapted community concepts.
- National Interagency Fire Center-provides various fire mitigation outreach resources for the fire management community, including a Communicator’s Guide to Fire Mitigation, Wildfire Prevention Event Marketing Guide, and Wildfire Prevention Event Management Guide
- Bureau of Land Management-Fire and Aviation
- FEMA’s At Home in the Woods-Lessons Learned in the Wildland/Urban Interface
- US Forest Service