Town Of Estes Park To Develop Community Wildfire Protection Plan
At the April 8, 2008 Town Board meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the Public Safety Committee’s recommendation to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. A Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is a written agreement that identifies community issues and risks regarding wildfire response, hazard mitigation, community preparedness and structure protection. The process of the CWPP can also assist a community in clarifying and refining its priorities for the protection of life, property and critical infrastructure in the wildland urban interface (WUI).
Sue Pinkham has returned for her fourth season as Wildland Urban Fire Education Coordinator. She will be working with members of the Town staff and community members acquiring the necessary information to develop this plan, in addition to her other duties. Throughout the process, public meetings will offer opportunities for input by the community at large. Pinkham will also receive assistance from Colorado State Forest Service and U.S. Forest Service representatives, and the Larimer County Wildfire Specialist. The process of developing a CWPP can be expected to take from six to twelve months.
The Interagency Fire Education /Wildland Urban Fire Education position has been funded for six years through a grant that Rocky Mountain National Park obtained from the Community Assistance component of the National Fire Plan funds. One of the intended duties of this position is to assist communities in our area in developing CWPPs.
One of Pinkham’s first responsibilities is to help property owners understand the need for protecting their homes from wildfire then expand that concern to neighbors and develop a plan (CWPP) and work together to complete neighborhood fire mitigation projects. Several communities in the Estes Valley already have a CWPP, Windcliff, Thunder Mountain and the YMCA of the Rockies have combined to form the East Portal CWPP. Glen Haven has finalized their plan. Pinewood Springs and Allenspark are in the process of developing CWPPs.
“We want to protect our pristine forests for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. Also, this area is a prime tourist destination and our economy is heavily dependent upon the tourist dollar, we need to make sure that our scenic landscapes are protected as well as our infrastructure,” stated, Chief Scott Dorman at the Public Safety Committee meeting in Marc
“For the last four years, the Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department (EPVFD) has been able to acquire fire mitigation grants for slash collection and disposal. These grants are from the National Fire Plan’s Community Assistance program. Many more grants are available for fire mitigation efforts but are dependent upon communities developing a CWPP,” stated Chief Dorman.
-Estes Park News, Estes Park, Colorado-