Wildfire Commission

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Jefferson County Working to Reduce Wildfire Risk

image of smoke and flames on jeffco hillside

More than two-thirds of Jefferson County is within a designated Wildfire Hazard Overlay District, which establishes additional criteria for development. Additionally, the county ranks number one in Colorado in terms of the number of homes in high and extreme wildfire risk areas, according to Verisk/ISO Stateline Report - with Evergreen and Conifer ranking among the highest risk areas. At the same time, the county and some local mountain area fire departments are facing finite resources for mitigation and response.

To ensure a thoughtful, collaborative approach, and to address the challenges facing all, the Board of County Commissioners agreed to lead and serve as a convener by establishing the Jefferson County Wildfire Risk Reduction Task Force in November 2019. Following a year of meetings and discussions, the Task Force presented its recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners November 11, 2020. The board expressed its gratitude for the task force's diligent work and were supportive of moving forward with the recommendations. 

Following the task force's recommendations in 2020, the commissioners approved a transition from a task force to the Wildfire Commission beginning 2021. In continuing the great work established by the task force, the commission begin to address the recommendations, which were broken into three main areas of focus mitigation, community education and revenue streams. 

In 2022, the commissioners recently earmarked $2.7 million in American Rescue Plan dollars to protect homes from wildfires in Jefferson County. The county will leverage those funds with a new state grant totaling $2 million from the Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program. Jefferson County is one of only a handful of counties to receive this funding. These dollars and others totaling $7.5 million will advance the Jefferson County Wildfire Safe program.

There is no single, quick solution to eliminate wildfire risk. As the Wildfire Commission continues to move the needle, stay in the know how things are progressing, including community engagement and feedback opportunities as we all do our part in tackling this important issue.