We know after the Marshall Fire occurred, many of our residents were wondering, could that happen to me or my neighborhood? The answer is possibly. Events like the Marshall Fire are rare, but they can happen anywhere that wildland (unoccupied and undeveloped land) intersects urban areas. We call this transition space between open spaces and forests and residential areas a "wildland-urban interface."
North Metro Fire has worked closely with Broomfield and Northglenn to help address wildland fire risk in our community. While North Metro Fire and our city partners are taking action to reduce risk, we also rely on YOU, our residents, to help us protect our neighborhoods from wildfires.
Actions Taken To Protect Our Community
- Wildland Risk Assessments
- In the spring of 2022, North Metro Fire's experienced and specialized Wildland Team conducted an assessment of our entire fire district, evaluating levels of wildland fire risk in each area of the District. Following their assessment, the Wildland Team created a map showing the various levels of wildland risk in the community and shared that map with city partners.
- Working With Cities to Implement/Maintain Good Risk Reduction Practices
- North Metro Fire continues to partner with each city on action plans targeting wildland fire risk reduction. Fortunately, many of North Metro Fire's recommendations were already being done by the cities. Recommendations included:
- Continue mowing beauty bands along sidewalks and trails (~15 feet each side)
- Mow tall grasses surrounding structures
- Extend mowed area up to 50' from all structures (homes, fences, etc.) for west-facing areas – once a year after growing season
- Clean up dead wood and fallen branches
- Community Education and Collaboration
- The fire district continues to work with HOAs and neighborhood representatives to help educate residents living in higher risk areas on how they can help protect their home. They also have encouraged HOAs to implement steps to protect their neighborhoods, such as:
- Mowing close to fences that touch open spaces
- Maintaining landscaping throughout the neighborhood
- Coordinating Cleanup Days to assist residents with chipping, litter and debris removal
- Communicating with residents about burn bans and the importance of adhering to them
- North Metro Fire also partnered with the City and County of Broomfield and Broomfield Police Department to create a series of educational videos on emergency preparedness and steps homeowners can take to protect their property and lives from a wildland fire.
- Ongoing First Responder Training and Resource Planning
- All North Metro firefighters are trained in basic wildland firefighting. In addition, North Metro Fire's Wildland Team members receive more in-depth training each year along with valuable experience on deployments to wildfires across the country, which they bring back and use to train other North Metro firefighters.
- North Metro Fire also continues to evaluate its policies and make adjustments to response plans, staffing and resources needed to address risks in the community.
Steps for Residents to Take
Protecting our community really requires a collaborative effort from not just our fire department and city partners, but YOU, our residents. Don't wait until it's a Red Flag Warning Day to address risks around your home. Take action throughout the year to provide your property and your family the best protection.
Follow recommendations from the National Fire Protection Association and from our Wildland Team, starting today!
Resource: Protecting Your Home From Wildfires