Summit County Colorado Adopts New Land Use Regs to Reduce Wildfire Risk
Battling the Peak 2 Fire near Breckenridge, CO in July 2017. Photo: Hugh Carey, summitdaily.com
Summit County in Colorado has adopted new land-use regulations intended to reduce wildfire risk and made major updates to its Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP).
"The Peak Two Fire was a sobering reminder of how real the threat of wildfire is in Summit County," Commissioner Dan Gibbs said in a statement, referring to the July wildfire that burned 80 acres near Breckenridge. "We're very fortunate that the fire didn't make its way into our neighborhoods, but we have to be proactive in taking concrete steps to reduce our exposure to those types of risks."
Amendments to the Land Use and Development Code include new requirements for assessing wildfire hazards and potential mitigation measures when updating master plans and as part of any new rezoning, planned unit development or subdivision application.
New landscaping regulations also set requirements for creating defensible space, or areas around a structure thinned of vegetation to create firebreaks.
"We wanted to ensure that the Countywide Comprehensive Plan, the Basin Master Plans, the Land Use and Development Code and the Community Wildfire Protection Plan all speak the same language and are aligned with one another to support our wildfire mitigation efforts," Summit County Senior Planner Lindsay Hirsh said.
The Cohesive Strategy is an "all hands, all lands" approach which means that stakeholders at all levels can do their part to help reduce risk. In this case, we applaud the County Commissioners in Summit County to do what they can to help their communities become more resilient and fire-adapted in their fire-prone environment.