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Wildfire Mitigation

Mike Palamara's picture
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Boulder Mountain Fire’s Wildfire Mitigation Crew



Is your home at high risk from wildfire? Answer these questions to find out:

  • Do you have wood piles or rubbish stacked under a deck or near the side of your house?
  • Are your gutters cluttered with flammable debris?
  • Is there tall grass or vegetation (>4 inches) growing next to your house?
  • Are there overhanging limbs near the roof of your home?
  • Is there a continuous forest canopy leading to your home?
  • Do you have lots of low limbs and vegetation near your house?
  • Is your street address hard to see from both directions at night?
  • Does your driveway have overhanging vegetation limiting the access of a fire engine (12 ft wide, 14 ft high)?



If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions,

Boulder Mountain Fire Mitigation Services

can help reduce your home’s risk from wildfire.


Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District description of Mitigation Services

Creating wildfire-defensible space around the structures on your property can minimize the intensity of a wildland fire event and improve the chances of your house surviving a catastrophic wildfire.  Creating a defensible space around your home allows Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District’s fire firefighters to safely do their jobs when fighting wildfire.  Remember that the vast majority of the people that protect this district from wildfire are your neighbors who volunteer to protect this neighborhood. BMFPD personnel have a vested interest in mitigating every property in this fire district, because protecting your property from wildfire also protects our properties.

Defensible space is the area around a home or other structure where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire. The defensible space extends 100 feet from any structure (on level ground) and 30 feet from any driveway.  Please note: defensible space must be increased in the downhill direction on a sloped property to properly protect a structure.  Your house is more likely to withstand a wildfire if grasses, brush, trees and other common forest fuels are properly managed to reduce a fire’s intensity.  According to the Colorado State Forest Service, ( two factors have emerged as the primary determinants of a home’s ability to survive a wildfire – the quality of the defensible space and the structure’s ignitability.  Together, these two factors create a concept called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ), which includes the structure and the spaces immediately surrounding the structure.  To protect a home from wildfire, the primary goal is to reduce or eliminate fuels and ignition sources within the HIZ.

Some before and after examples:




Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District (BMFPD) provides a wildfire mitigation and HIZ evaluation to its residents at no cost.  Please call (303) 440-0235 or email ( Mike Palamara (BMFPD’s Mitigation Coordinator) to request an appointment to review your property.  The wildfire mitigation and HIZ evaluation provided by BMFPD will include:

  • Identifying any fuel (trees, grass, shrubs, firewood, pine needles) reductions needed in the defensible space,
  • Determination of the work needed to improve the defensible space and HIZ of a property so it maximizes the potential of the structures to survive a wildfire,
  • Gridding of the property to identify any diseased or dead trees for removal,
  • Listing recommendations regarding how to safely protect your structures, and
  • Providing a detailed written cost estimate for BMFPD’s Mitigation Crew to perform any wildfire mitigation, structure preparation for wildfire protection, or disease removal recommended by the defensible space and HIZ evaluation.

 The normal site visit and evaluation is normally conducted by touring the property with the land owner and takes approximately an hour to complete the average property.  The goal of the effort is to bring your property in compliance with the recommendation of the Colorado State Forest Service for wildfire mitigation.  Below is a description of the services BMFPD provides and the associated costs for creating a safe and well managed defensible space.

Price list of services provided by BMFPD’s Mitigation and Structure Protection Services:


  • Improvements to Defensible Space
  • Structure Preparation and Maintenance to the HIZ including cleaning pine needles, leaves and other debris from roofs and gutter - $44 per hour per employee.
  • Removal of Hazard Trees, Creating Fuel Breaks, and Improvements to forest health/thinning including tree and brush removal, chipping, and slash pile burning - $76 per hour for a sawyer, $112 per hour for a chipper capable of chipping 15 inch diameter logs, and $44 per hour for chipper operator, slash hauling, and slash burning.
  • Culvert Maintenance including digging out and flushing clogged culverts - $35 per hour per employee.
  • Firewood Management including splitting, stacking, and decayed wood pile removal - $35 per hour per employee.

Please note minimum of two workers are required to complete services mentioned above. Also, the costs listed above can be used to get a ball park estimate for a project but we recommend you call (303) 440-0235 or email for a project specific written estimate for mitigation or structure preparation services.

2014 Mit Crew

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