Residents Take On Wildfire Protection Responsibility Sept. 10th
Wednesday, September 10, 2008, from 4:00 –8:00 p.m. at the Estes Park Fire Station, Estes Valley residents in and around Estes Park will have the opportunity to help develop the list of “values at risk” for the Town’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Light refreshments will be served.
The Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department with the assistance of town, federal, state, and county experts are developing a plan to reduce the risk of a devastating wildfire in the area. “There is no substitute for prevention. This plan will provide another weapon in our arsenal to fight fires and protect our community.” stated Mayor, Bill Pinkham.
“The first step in the CWPP process is to map all the values at risk”, stated Scott Dorman, Chief, Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department. “We need to know what needs to be protected when, not if, a wildfire comes through the area.” “We need input from residents to make sure we’ve addressed all the values at risk. We have mapped all the residences, commercial structures, hydrants, major water lines, power plants, but we may have missed something. The open house is an opportunity for all residents of the area to learn about CWPPs and make sure that their values are being identified.”
A CWPP identifies how a community will reduce its risk from wildland fire and is developed by local citizens and fire department volunteers with assistance and support from county, state and federal agencies. It is a tool to get all of these agencies working together on community protection efforts. The plan will address wildfire response capability, evacuation requirements and protection of homes and other structures. It will identify and prioritize necessary fuel reduction projects and enhance the opportunity for the community to compete for potential funding and agency assistance to implement community established projects.
Staff from the US Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service, Larimer County, the Town of Estes Park and Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department will be on hand to explain the purpose of the CWPP and answer questions community members have about the specifics of the plan.
Windcliff and Thunder Mountain Home Owners Associations have worked with the “Y” of the Rockies to develop one CWPP for their communities. The East Portal CWPP was the first to be developed in this area. Representatives from the “Y”, Thunder Mountain and Windcliff worked with staff from the US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado State Forest Service, Larimer County and Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department to develop their plan. Now those communities have been able to take advantage of matching grants to do some necessary fuel reductions in their Wildland Urban Interface areas. Windcliff has been designated a “FireWise” community. Little Valley also completed a CWPP. They were then eligible to obtain grants to address their fuel reduction concerns.