Great Fire Mitigation Work Done in Copperdale

There are many neighborhoods in Coal Creek Canyon (CCC) working on wildfire risk reduction activities.  Each of these efforts is unique and dependent upon the initiative, needs, available resources, and capacities of the specific neighborhood. The Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) currently being developed is intended to assist CCC residents with understanding wildfire risk and developing actions to mitigate that risk. CCC communities are designated as Plan Units in the CWPP.

 

Residents in the Copperdale Plan Unit have been working on numerous wildfire risk reduction projects in 2023 including multi-neighbor slash removal through Boulder County’s Wildfire Partners Chipping Program, defensible space work with Saws & Slaws and Team Rubicon (a veteran volunteer group), and a multi-neighbor forestry project on Divide View Drive. The efforts in Copperdale grew out of numerous visioning sessions held between 2021 and 2023. The visioning sessions helped neighbors come together to understand the problem, discuss the specific interests, needs and priorities of their local community, and develop momentum to catalyze action around these priorities.

 

The Divide View project was initiated by two neighbors, Maria Giordano and Chris Reichard. Maria and Chris invited their immediate neighbors to discuss the idea of a multi-property forestry project. By joining together and working with local agencies, neighbors could access grant funding and get support with technical forestry needs, project management and hiring a single contractor for multiple properties. These resources are usually not available to a single small landowner.

 

Divide View neighbors worked with the Boulder Valley and Longmont Conservation District (BVLCD) and Boulder Watershed Collective (BWC) to design a project which would meet wildfire risk reduction goals of the landowners and support healthy ponderosa and mixed conifer forests, and a more fire-resilient landscape. The work was funded by grants from the Colorado State Forest Service , the Justin Brooks Fisher Foundation, and a generous anonymous donor. The mitigation work is currently being completed by a local contractor, Good People Tree Service. This project has demonstrated strong collaboration amongst community members and agency partners and will hopefully inspire future work throughout the Coal Creek community.

 

The Divide View project includes nine properties ranging in size from 1 to 7 acres. Five of the properties are contiguous, providing a larger area of linked defensible space through Zones 1, 2 & 3 (see the Colorado State Forest Service Home Ignition Zone Guide for more information on what this means). The total acreage of the completed project will be nearly 16 acres. This work builds upon mitigation work already completed by numerous homeowners on their own, through Wildfire Partners, working with United Power to clear along electric utility lines, or other programs. An additional aspect of the Divide View project was the effort of Justin Shaffer, a Copperdale resident, who organized eight owners to perform significant fire mitigation and participate in the free Boulder County roadside slash collection program during October and November of 2023.

 

The initiative and commitment of the Divide View neighbors is an excellent example of neighborhood-scale wildfire mitigation. These neighbors recognized that wildfire risks ignore property boundaries and that mitigation on their property protects their own valuable assets as well as those of their neighbors.

 

Thank you, Chris and Maria, for having a vision and acting upon it!

 

Create a Fire Mitigation Group in Your Community
Start this winter so you will be ready for action next spring.

  • Find your Plan Unit. Go to www.coalcreekcwpp.org and click on “Get Involved.”
  • Enlist a few neighbors to get together to discuss your community’s needs.
  • For help starting your group, email the Community Outreach Team at CWPPforCCC@gmail.com.

The Community Wildfire Protection Plan will be published in early spring 2024, and early birds will get
off to a running start in implementing the risk reduction projects outlined within. The CCCFPD
Community Outreach Team will be there to advise and support you every step of the way!

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