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Wildfire Ready

Need Help Becoming Wildfire Ready?

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Grant Information

The Elizabeth Fire Protection District is working in cooperation with the Colorado State Forest Service in obtaining a grant for wildfire mitigation. If earned, the grant will cover 50% of costs towards mitigating your property. All interested parties are asked to fill out the application below. The grant will only be awarded if enough people express interest in mitigating their property.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Prevention Resources

Colorado State Forest Service

Firewise USA

Ready, Set, Go!

Fire Adapted Colorado

 

Questions? Contact Us!

Contact:

Ryan Seng
Fire Prevention Specialist
Email: r.seng@elizabethfire.org
Phone: 303-646-3800

Preparing Your Home for a Wildfire

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Picture depicting Zones 1, 2, and 3 of structural ignitability and defensible space
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Home Hardening and Zone 1: The Fire-Free Zone

The first five feet from your home and the construction of your home are the most important. Keeping the area closest to buildings clear will prevent embers from igniting materials that can spread the fire to your home.

  • Ensure your roof has a Class A Fire Rating.
  • Use tempered, two-pane glass for windows.
  • Screen attic, roof, and foundation vents with 1/8-inch metal mesh.
  • Replace vegetation and mulch with hardscape like gravel or concrete.
  • Remove branches that hang over the house or within 10 feet of the chimney.
  • Relocate firewood to Zone 3.
  • Remove leaves and pine needles from your roof, gutter, deck, and any areas under your home.

Zone 2: The Lean, Clean, and Green Zone

Remove dead plants and create space between trees and shrubs to create a buffer for your property and reduce potential fuel for wildfires.

  • Remove all dead plants, grass, weeds, shrubs, and trees.
  • Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles.
  • Mow grasses down to 4 inches or less.
  • Trim trees to keep branches 10 feet away from other trees and shrubs and 10 feet above the ground.
  • Separate trees and shrubs away from other items that could catch fire such as patio furniture and swing sets.

Zone 3: The Transition Zone

Continue to reduce potential fuels as the property transitions back to natural growth.

  • Continue to trim trees to 10 feet above the ground and away from other trees and shrubs.
  • Reduce ladder fuels by keeping grasses, shrubs, and trees trimmed so that fire will not spread to taller fuels.
  • Store firewood, hay, or other combustible materials on bare ground. If not possible, mow or graze grasses next to storage areas.

Low-Cost Retrofit List

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Low-Cost Ways to Harden Your Home

  1. When it's time to replace your roof, replace it with a Class A fire rated roof.
  2. Block any spaces between your roof covering and sheathing with noncombustible materials (bird stops).
  3. Install a noncombustible gutter cover on gutters to prevent the accumulation of leaves and debris in the gutter.
  4. Cover your chimney and stovepipe outlets with a noncombustible corrosion resistant metal mesh screen (spark arrestor) with 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch openings.
  5. Install ember and flame-resistant vents.
  6. Caulk and plug gaps greater than 1/8-inch around exposed rafters and blocking to prevent ember intrusion into the attic or other enclosed spaces.
  7. Inspect exterior siding for dry rot, gaps, cracks, and warping. Caulk or plug gaps greater than 1/8-inch in siding and replace any damaged boards, including those with dry rot.
  8. Install weather-stripping to gaps greater than 1/8-inch between garage doors and door frames to prevent ember intrusion. The weather stripping must be compliant with UL Standard 10C.
  9. When it's time to replace your windows, replace them with multi-paned windows that have at least one pane of tempered glass.
  10. When it's time to replace your siding or deck, use compliant noncombustible or ignition-resistant products.
  11. Cover openings to operable skylights with noncombustible metal mesh screen with openings in the screen not to exceed 1/8-inch.
  12. Install a minimum 6-inch metal flashing, applied vertically on the exterior of the wall at the deck-to-wall intersection to protect the combustible siding material.

Low-Cost Ways to Create Defensible Space and Enhance the Effects of a Hardened Home

  1. Regularly clean your roof and gutters to avoid the accumulation of fallen leaves, needles, and other flammable materials (see Home Ignition Zone Checklists Webpage for more details).
  2. Rake and remove all pine needles, leaves, and other flammable debris from a 5-foot radius around the foundations of your home and deck.
  3. Replace wood mulch products within five feet of all structures with noncombustible products such as dirt, stone, or gravel.
  4. Remove all dead or dying grass, plants, shrubs, trees, branches, and weeds within 30 feet of all structures or to the property line.
  5. Mow grass and weeds to a height of 4-inches or less.
  6. Remove branches that hang over the roof and chimney or are within 10 feet of your home. Remove limbs of tall trees to 10 feet above the ground.
  7. Remove storage and vegetation below decks or porches.
  8. Ensure exposed firewood is stored at least 30 feet away from structures or completely covered in a fire-resistant material that will not allow embers to penetrate. Additionally, make sure you have 10 feet of clearance around your wood piles.
  9. Be sure to store combustible outdoor furnishings away from your home when not in use.
  10. Remember to properly store retractable awnings and umbrellas when not in use so they do not collect leaves and embers.
  11. Post signs at the end of your driveway with your house number that are noncombustible, reflective, and easily visible to emergency responders (see Address Signs Webpage for signs offered by Elizabeth Fire District).

*This list was developed as a best practices guide and to assist homeowners to ensure their home is more ignition-resistant from wildfires. Low cost can be subjective. Some of these items are based on upgrading to more stringent materials when that feature is up for replacement due to normal maintenance or lifespan, i.e. roofs. Information provided by the Colorado State Forest Service and Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Learn more at the Colorado State Forest Service's Protect Your Home & Property from Wildfire Webpage.

Updated 2/26/2024