Residents and property owners in the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District once again this spring may sign up for free reviews of their property for adequate defensible space.
Defensible space is the safe envelope around a home that allows firefighters to make a stand against an encroaching wildfire and improve the chances that the home will survive without jeopardizing lives, according to a Lake Dillon Fire news release.
“As we have seen repeatedly throughout Colorado and across the West, defensible space is the single biggest factor as to whether a home survives a wildfire,” Lake Dillon Fire Rescue chief Dave Parmley said in the release. “We strongly encourage all residents and property owners to trim back trees and vegetation to appropriate distances, clear their roofs and gutters of pine needles and debris and take steps to prepare themselves and their families for the possibility of a wildfire.”
The courtesy reviews, which typically take about an hour and include a walk around the property, are aimed at developed properties. Recommendations are voluntary and will not be documented or made available to insurance companies.
“Increasingly, insurance companies are requiring property owners to create adequate defensible space around their homes, and this courtesy review can give you some direction as to how that’s done,” Parmley said.
Among the topics covered in a defensible space review are:
• Personal preparation, including reviewing insurance coverage, documenting valuable items, preparing an evacuation kit and making copies of vital documents and irreplaceable photographs to be stored elsewhere
• Landscaping and vegetation management, as well as debris cleanup and storing combustible materials properly on a property
• Minimize the collection and intrusion of potentially destructive flying embers, even from a wildfire that is some distance away
• Specific steps, tailored to the property, that a homeowner can take to “harden” a home against the threat of wildfire
For more information or to schedule a free defensible space review by Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue staff, call (970) 262-5209. Neighbors. Homeowners associations and civic organizations also are encouraged to coordinate joint reviews of adjacent properties or to arrange free presentations on the merits and principles of defensible space.