MONUMENT • In the wake of the destructive fires in Boulder County last month, the Town of Monument staff is looking into the creation and options for funding a long-range fire mitigation plan for the entire town.
Town Manager Mike Foreman announced during the Jan. 3 Board of Trustees meeting that he met that morning with David Root of the Colorado State Forestry Service, a division of Colorado State University, and Jamey Bumgarner of the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District to discuss the potential creation and funding of a townwide, long-range fire mitigation plan.
The interest in having a mitigation program for the town and its outlying districts became a priority after the Marshall Fire the week earlier.
“Some of the conversations we had have introduced us to some funding opportunities that we are going to be rapidly and aggressively applying for so that we can start GIS-mapping some of our properties where we might have to mitigate, but also some of the districts around us,” Foreman said.
Foreman said funding opportunities are available from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments. Presently, the town does not have a budget for mitigation, but staff and developing partnerships will be taking a serious look at how to fund such a plan.
“We are taking this extremely seriously after the events that happened (in late December),” he said.
While some of the outlying districts would be responsible for their own mitigation, some of the properties in those districts are within the Town of Monument. Foreman said the town will be partnering with the neighboring districts.
“After watching the devastation caused by the Marshall Fire, we all need to consider efforts to prevent the destruction caused by wildfires,” said TLMFPD Chief Andy Kovacs.
Wildfire mitigation is the implementation of measures designed to limit the destructive effects of a wildfire on a community. One measure which can be taken by a municipality in partnership with the local fire department, homeowners associations and nonprofits is to modify the wildland environment surrounding a structure that puts the structure at risk from destruction by wildfire, Kovacs said.
Other mitigation plans focus on modifying the construction of a structure itself or changing its location to improve its ability to withstand a wildfire without being dependent upon fire suppression resources, he said.
Kovacs said it is difficult to say what kind of timeline is involved with generating a townwide, long-range fire mitigation plan.
“I think 12-18 months is a reasonable expectation,” Kovacs said.