Wildfire Mitigation

The Douglas County Wildfire Mitigation Program’s primary mission is to reduce wildfire hazard and loss to Douglas County’s residents, property, and natural resources.

The program also emphasizes courtesy forestry and wildfire hazard assessments for home and property owners within Douglas County.  If you have forestry or wildfire questions please contact Wildfire Mitigation Staff for a free consultation.

Wildfire Hazard Regulation for Building and Development

One way the Douglas County Wildfire Mitigation staff seeks to reduce Wildfire hazard is through the development review process and implementation of our adopted regulations stated in the Douglas County Zoning Resolution Section 17.   This process ensures that all new development in Douglas County is carefully assessed for wildfire hazards by our Wildfire Mitigation Specialists. If staff identifies a significant wildfire hazard a Wildfire Mitigation or Forest Management Plan is required to be submitted by a professional forester, reviewed and approved by Douglas County staff and executed prior to the issuance of building permits within the development.

Another method of addressing wildfire hazard is on an individual lot or parcel basis. Each construction project permitted through the Building Division within the Wildfire Hazard Overlay District is subject to the adopted regulations. Similar to the development scale process, if staff determines a wildfire hazard exists, treatment is required in the form of Defensible Space prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. However, rather than the applicant consulting a professional forester, the Wildfire Mitigation staff provides the treatment prescription to be implemented.

Wildfire Hazard District Overlay Map 

Wildfire Mitigation Standards

The current Wildfire Mitigation Standards adopted in October 2012 are available in Exhibit B.


Collaborative Partnership Projects

The Wildfire Mitigation staff is involved with several collaborative partnerships including the Front Range Fuels Roundtable and the Pikes Peak Wildfire Prevention Partners (PPWPP). Staff is currently working with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) on hazardous fuels reduction projects in Douglas County with funds acquired from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding acquired by CUSP through a five Front Range County effort.

In May of 2009 the Pikes Peak Wildfire Prevention Partners (PPWPP) assisted the Burning Tree Ranch Homeowner’s Association with complete hazardous fuels reduction on their first priority project in their CWPP. The Burning Tree Ranch community project contributed over 300 volunteer hours and just under a mile of ladder fuel removal in a bridal easement that bisects the community.

The fall mitigation project was a hazardous fuels reduction project along the Santa Fe Trail from the trailhead at Palmer Lake to Monument.

PPWPP Burning Tree Ranch Project

PPWPP Burning Tree Ranch Project

Sante Fe Trail

Sante Fe Trail

PPWPP Burning Tree Ranch Project

PPWPP Burning Tree Ranch Project

Burning Tree Ranch Project

Burning Tree Ranch Project


Natural Resources and Forest Management

The Douglas County Wildfire Mitigation Staff plans, prepares, and implements forest management and natural resources stewardship projects on county-owned open space lands.  In the last decade a significant amount of Colorado’s forests have been lost or damaged due to insects, disease, and high intensity wildfires.  Forest management and vegetation treatments are designed to increase forest health and reduce fuel loading to prevent infestation and/or loss of our county-owned forests from these disturbance agents.  A healthy forest offers habitat and forage to wildlife as well as recreation and wildlife viewing opportunities to its public users.  Prescribed fire is also used to re-introduce low-intensity wildfire and its ecological benefits to historically fire-adapted ecosystems.  Projects are based on goals and objectives backed by sound science and endorsed by practitioners and natural resources managers throughout the Front Range of Colorado.

(Photo: Bayou Gulch Prescribed Burn - Fall 2009) Credit: Andy Lyon - South Metro Fire Rescue Authority

(Photo: Bayou Gulch Prescribed Burn – Fall 2009)
Credit: Andy Lyon – South Metro Fire Rescue Authority

(Photo: Bayou Gulch Open Space Prescribed Burn -Fall 2009) Credit: Andy Lyon - South Metro Fire Rescue Authority

(Photo: Bayou Gulch Open Space Prescribed Burn -Fall 2009)
Credit: Andy Lyon – South Metro Fire Rescue Authority

(Photo: Dawson Butte Open Space)

(Photo: Dawson Butte Open Space)

(Photo: Spruce Mountain Open Space)

(Photo: Spruce Mountain Open Space)