Funding available to help in reducing wildfire property loss
By Emmit Hoyle
Timberline Fire Protection District, Gilpin County, and CSU Extension have joined together in a proactive effort to help Gilpin residents reduce the risk of property loss during a wildfire. In August of 2013 we were awarded grant money from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources to assist homeowners in financing fire mitigation and fuel reduction around their homes and property in Gilpin County. This opportunity has come at a time when many residents are reporting an increased incidence of issues surrounding home insurance policies. This grant may help provide some assistance to homeowners dealing with compliance issues and the potential loss of coverage, a trend that is likely to get worse. Our grant program provides several helpful opportunities for homeowners to improve their property, as well as educational opportunities for those who want to learn more about hardening your home to wildfire and living in the Wildland Urban Interface. Fire fighters need your help! Defensible spaces are necessary for us to protect your homes. Rates of wildfire in our area have been on the rise, and there is no excuse for complacency.
We recommend that everyone work together with their neighbors and apply as communities for grant money. Applying as a community has many more benefits to all those involved including application priority, free chipping days, private acreage mitigation funds, educational presentations, and up to $10,000 dollars in hard matching funds for defensible space construction. Communities are considered a grouping of seven homes or more who form a committee of three or more individuals who apply for the grant. Wildfire does not pay attention to property boundaries, so getting your neighbors to work together will benefit everyone involved! Individuals are also eligible to apply for grant money. Individuals will be given less priority over community applications. Individuals are eligible for $1,000 reimbursement for defensible space construction, as well as private acreage fire mitigation. A deadline of January 31st has been set for community applicants to be given preferential treatment over individual applications, so apply now!
For more please visit www.timberlinefire.com and click on the “Gilpin County Wildfire Mitigation Grant” page.