Summit County wildfire council approves updated plan and grant projects |

Summit County wildfire council approves updated plan and grant projects

FRISCO – The Summit County Wildfire Council on Wednesday approved updates to a plan for protecting local communities from a catastrophic fire.

Improvements on the 2006 Community Wildfire Protection Plan include maps showing higher

-risk areas, details on the status of mitigation efforts and plans for annual goals.

“I am delighted with the work so many people have put in to get this thing put together,” said Summit County Commissioner and wildfire council chair Bob French, adding that the plan was one of the first in the state and has been nationally recognized.

The updated plan is available


mitigation. It outlines the process for reducing fuels in the wildland-urban interface, and it includes focus maps for the county’s four basins.

Entities at several levels of government continue taking steps to prepare for a wildfire in a forest increasingly affected by the mountain pine-beetle epidemic. The wildfire council is kicking off a community outreach effort in the coming weeks to help ensure the public is prepared for a disastrous wildfire event.

Since the protection plan was adopted, some 3.7 square miles – or 2,382 acres – of Summit County have been treated through efforts of the council, local governments, Denver Water Board and the state and federal forest services, among others.

The wildfire council helped to treat 803 of the acres.

“That’s a lot of acres treated,” said assistant county manager Steve Hill. “It reflects well on the wildfire council and staff efforts.”

The council on Wednesday also approved $248,305 in grants to treat about 185 acres in and near 12 local neighborhoods this year.

Grants range from $2,015 to help treat 8 acres in Riverwood Subdivision in Breckenridge to $61,000 to help treat 36 acres in Summit Estates, also in Breck. Neighborhoods across the county – including Frisco, Copper and the Keystone area – also received grants.

The cost of treatment per acre is varied based primarily on the terrain, with areas of steep slopes and difficult access costing up to $6,667 per acre. Other areas are as low as $504 per acre.

The wildfire council includes local first responders and governments, as well as people from the state forest service and Colorado State University Extension office.

Also on Wednesday, Dan Sokal with the U.S. Forest Service explained wildfire mitigation work to begin next year at Keystone Resort, where up to 1,800 acres could be treated. The Forest Service is paying for the environmental study, and Vail Resorts is to pay for the work.

This project is expected to occur over a five to 10 year period, he said.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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