Posted for Nancy Yearout
RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, Breckenridge, Colorado
The Colorado Forest Service has designed an online tool that allows Summit
County residents to assess the wildfire risk in their neighborhoods.
wanted to create awareness of wildfire risk for the individual who lives in
Colorado,” said Rich Homann, a staff forester with the Colorado Forest Service.
“We also wanted to inform decision makers about the risk, so they could have
information available to them to base decisions on and prioritize
The Colorado Wildfire Risk Assessment, or CO-WRAP, allows web
visitors to view maps and download information about neighborhoods and
The portal was created using GIS (geographic information
systems) and combines information from fire departments, the National Weather
Service, the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources to evaluate the risk of
wildfire to individual homes.
“We wanted to gather as much information as
possible from a lot of different sources and put it in one place where it was
accessible for anybody who wanted to use it,” Homann said.
tool also allows community leaders, planning professionals and forestry
professionals to use the information to inform future development
The professional viewer, which requires web registration,
could also aid in the creation of fire protection and forest stewardship plans
for local agencies, forest service officials said.
continue to threaten people, property, drinking water and forest assets across
Colorado,” Interim state forester Joe Duda said in a news release. “Heightened
awareness of wildfire risk and the forest management measures necessary to
mitigate that risk are becoming increasingly important to ensure public
Colorado residents who use the fire risk tool can learn more
about what to expect if there is a wildfire in their area. The tool can also be
used to get assistance from local agencies.
Summit County residents had
the chance to view the tool at a wildfire protection meeting Wednesday evening
in Frisco. Speakers at the meeting, sponsored by the Forest Health Task Force,
urged community members to use the online tool to learn more about their
However, they also urged residents to not become
overly reliant on the tool. Houses listed in a low-risk area could still be
susceptible to wildfires. And residents whose homes are found to be in high-risk
areas can make important strides to protect their property from possible
wildfire damage, said Forest Health Task Force representative Howard Hallman.
Courtesy of the Summit Daily News