Jefferson County’s forested landscape means that there is high risk of wildfire, especially during dry spells. Forest management is a crucial step to protect your home, your forest, and the entire county from devastating wildfire. Forestry services for landowners may be found from Jefferson Conservation District (JCD) and the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS). Both agencies provide technical assistance in relation to forest restoration, wildlife habitat, wildfire mitigation/fuel reduction, and overall forest ecosystem health. For certain projects, funding assistance and coordination of professional forestry contractors may be available.
JCD-specific programs include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), delivered in partnership with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The Colorado State Forest Service programs include the Forest Ag Program, Forest Legacy Program, Forest Restoration & Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program, Forest Stewardship Program, Homesite Assessments, Tree Farm Program. CSFS also maintains a list of private consulting foresters; contact the Golden office for more information.
Additional educational and informational resources about forest management are available from CSU Extension’s Natural Resources program.
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) provides community tree planting and tree care. Technical assistance in community forestry from CSFS includes devising plans to maintain and add to tree resources and providing information and workshops on tree care. CSFS creates strategies for planning for forest pests and invasive species and cares for storm-damaged trees.
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), in partnership with the US Forest Service, conducts an annual inventory that provides objective and scientifically credible data on forest health, and measures changes over time. This information helps researchers, policymakers, consultants, private industry, landowners and natural resource professionals better understand current forest conditions and significant changes across Colorado and the nation.
CSFS also conducts forest restoration and provides guidelines on restoration following a wildfire. CSFS defines forest restoration as restoring healthy, diverse and resilient ecological systems to minimize uncharacteristically severe fires, especially on critical watersheds. Publications and documents relating to forest restoration are available online.
Visit wildfirerisk.org to understand, explore, and reduce wildfire risk in your community. This interactive online resource from the USDA Forest Service under the direction of Congress and is designed to help community leaders, such as elected officials, community planners, and fire managers. This is the first time wildfire risk to communities has been mapped nationwide.
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Jefferson County’s geographic and climatic makeup means that there is always risk of wildfire. This risk is even high when the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office issues a fire weather watch, red flag warning, or most of all a fire restriction or ban. Jeffco residents and visitors are encouraged to subscribe to fire restriction and ban alerts. Fire restrictions and bans can also be enacted by municipalities, other counties, U.S. Forest Service, and Denver Mountain Parks. Jeffco Open Space maintains Stage 2 fire restrictions year-round. Please check with each individual entity for their fire restriction and ban information. It is also important to sign up to receive CodeRED emergency notifications from the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office in the case of dangerous fire or other emergencies that impact community safety.
For information regarding Jefferson County remote slash collection, burn permits and fireworks, and current Jefferson County fire restrictions and bans call the fire information hotline 303-271-8200.
Landowners can do their part to mitigate wildfire in the county by managing forest on their land, removing slash, and preparing their home for wildfire through Firewise. The Jefferson County Hazard Mitigation Plan provides further information about preparing for natural hazards. Additional publications and resources on wildfire are provided by CSU Extension’s Natural Resources Program.
Natural debris such as tree limbs, pruning, and pine needles, known as slash, can be a fire hazard if allowed to build up. Removing slash and creating a defensible space around your home, is the first line of defense against wildfires. Jefferson County provides slash collection locations where you can deposit your slash for a fee.
Colorado State Forest Service’s Colorado Wood Utilization and Marketing Program (CoWood) has programs for forest product information, service, education and outreach including Wood to Energy program, Colorado Forest Products, Forest Business Loan Fund, Urban Wood Utilization, and Black Forest Utilization.
Jefferson Conservation District is also a resource for locating firewood, tree-length logs, and other wood products.
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) provides community tree planting and tree care. Technical assistance in community forestry from CSFS includes devising plans to maintain and add to tree resources and providing information and workshops on tree care. CSFS creates strategies for planning for forest pests and invasive species, and cares for storm damaged trees.
Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC), a non-profit 501(c)(3), works closely with partners such as the U.S. Forest Service, Xcel Energy, and several corporate and private sponsors to provide programs and services for community tree health and education. Programs administered by CTC include the Champion Tree, Tree Risk Assessment, and Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest programs. Additionally, the Trees Across Colorado program provides low cost trees to Colorado communities, and the ReForest Colorado program helps communities recover from natural disasters.