A Firewise Community
We encourage community participation in mitigation efforts and encourage awareness of "Firewise Certification with the USFS" as well as potential for grants to assist in mitigation of communities within Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District.
Congratulations to the Sampson Community for achieving Firewise Certification!
By Jennifer Volkman
In 2008 I contacted InterCanyon to get some information on wildfire education and direction on how to get mitigation efforts in the community going. I met with Wildland Captain Todd Moore and he had a lot of information to share with me.
A committee was organized and we worked with Todd throughout 2009 learning about our "Extreme Hazard Rating” in the Community Wildfire Protection Plan. We are a community with many challenges including steep terrain, one way in/one way out access, heavily wooded…to name a few. Community meetings were held and presentations were given at the School House and at Station One. Todd conducted home triages in the community, helped us set priorities, and gave us direction on what other agencies to contact.
In 2009 we had more community meetings with people from the Jefferson Conservation District and the Jeffco Sheriffs Emergency Management Office. By this time we were ready to start applying for grants.
In 2010 funds became available and we were ready to get started. Twenty three households, a little more than half of the community, agreed to have work done on their property to create a shaded fuel break along much of the road. This reduction of fuels (thinning) on both sides of the road would greatly improve conditions during an emergency evacuation of residents in case of a wildfire AND create a safer environment for firefighters.
Work began on July 6th, 2010.
Because of that grant and a handful of other over 200 acres of fuels have been mitigated on 30 properties utilizing more than $250K in local, state, and federal funding and match. The residence and property owners of the Sampson community have participated in 15 community workdays and logged 2300 hours of work (many hours go undocumented) for in-kind grant match on top of working on their own defensible space projects.
Currently, work is being done to complete a 2014/15 Colorado State Forest Service grant mitigating 30 acres of fuels to create another shaded fuel break for a secondary emergency evacuation route and 5 community workdays are scheduled for this summer.