Wildfire Info

  1. About
  2. Step By Step Instructions
  3. Wildfire Risk
  4. Home Hardening
  5. Defensible Space
  6. Prepare
  7. Resources


Background 

In regards to wildfires, Gunnison County has been fortunate that in the past 40 years that we have not experienced a large-scale, catastrophic wildfire, while many other counties and communities across the State of Colorado have experienced devastating consequences from wildfire. These wildfires have been devastating: destroying hundreds of homes and structures, burning thousands of acres, and threatening the lives and properties of residents. Even with these disasters happening around throughout the state, many people do not recognize the risk that wildfires pose to their homes and properties, and what they can do to protect themselves from this risk.  

Land managers including the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado State Forest Service have increased their work in the past three years to mitigate the impacts of beetle infestations in the County including the 400-acre Wilder-Highlands Mountain Pine Beetle Response project in the Taylor Canyon and Lost Canyon areas to eliminate the infestations in those areas. These proactive measures support a healthier forest and can reduce some wildfire risk. However, the risk of wildfire and destruction of life and property is exacerbated by rural development patterns and the construction of structures that are not fire resistant. 

The Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) 

The Wildland Urban Interface (WUI, pronounced “WOO-EE”), as defined in Gunnison County’s Land Use Resolution (LUR):

“Any developed area where conditions affecting the combustibility of both wildland and built fuels allows for the ignition and spread of fire through the combined fuel complex.” 

On September 6, 2022, the Gunnison County Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution No. 2022-33 adopting the 2021 International Wildland Urban Interface Code. 

Below is an image illustrating the continuum of wildland to urban densities.  

WUI                                                                                                                                                                        Image Credit: CPAW

Check out the FEMA WUI Report Presentation for further information about the WUI, its importance, and the current issues in this area.


Check out this handout from FireWise.org and the National Fire Protection Agency with information about how to prepare your home for wildfires.  

Firewise - Thumb Opens in new window

FireWise - How To Prepare Your Home


Additional Links:

The Home Ignition Zone – Colorado State Forest Service 

Wildfire & Insurance handout – Colorado State Forest Service 

Risk Management in the WUI – US Forest Service 

Land Use Planning in the WUI  Community Wildfire Planning Center