DENVER, Colo. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a $1 million mitigation grant to Colorado Springs for a project that will reduce wildfire risk in the city.
The grant will be used to clear dead vegetation, thin trees and brush from more than 350 acres of parkland, open space and private property. Reducing these fuels will lower the intensity of potential future fires, improve access for firefighters and provide safer evacuation routes for residents. The project will reduce wildfire threats to:
- more than 1,000 homes????
- a senior housing center
- four elementary schools??????????????
- a fire station
- Bear Creek Nature Center??????????
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
- a water storage tank????????????????????
- power lines
- trails and highways????????????????????
- ?railroad tracks
The project is also designed to reduce fuel levels in an aesthetically pleasing way in order to teach homeowners that wildfire risk reduction can still be visually appealing.
The project is being funded through FEMA's Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant program. PDM offers funds on a competitive basis to states, territories, Indian tribal governments, communities, and universities for hazard mitigation planning and mitigation projects. These grants are offered on a 75 percent federal cost share basis. The overall cost for this project is more than $1.3 million. FEMA will pay approximately $1 million. This is the 3rd in a succession of successful fire fuel mitigation projects by the Colorado Springs Fire Department in the last 3 years.
Funding these plans and projects reduces overall risks to the population and structures, while also reducing reliance on funding from disaster declarations, and state and local sources. A recent study by the Multi-hazard Mitigation Council shows each dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of four dollars.
Hazard mitigation is an important element of FEMA assistance. The work FEMA, state partners and local governments undertake together to reduce the impact of disasters on communities and individuals has a resounding impact on citizens' lives. Mitigation creates safer communities by reducing loss of life and property damage. Mitigation minimizes post-disaster disruptions to society by lessening the damages caused by an event and allowing people to get back on their feet more quickly.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.