Town of Mountain Village encourages homeowners to create defensible space with mitigation incentive

Wildfire Mitigation

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Emergency Preparedness

As the community begins to look forward to another summer in the San Juan Mountains, the Town of Mountain Village is offering incentives to homeowners to help residents protect their homes by creating defensible space through wildfire mitigation work.

The Wildfire Mitigation Incentive Program, created in partnership with the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association and West Region Wildfire Council (WRWC), offers residents a rebate of up to 50 percent off the total cost of mitigation work up to $5,000. This program is for existing Mountain Village homes, and not new home construction.

“If a homeowner creates defensible space by utilizing our incentive program in combination with a non-flammable roof, the structures chance of survival in a wildfire is 99 percent.  A structure has only a 4 percent survival rate if the roof is flammable and no defensible action occurs on a property,” said Mountain Village’s Planning and Development Services Director Michelle Haynes.

“The Wildfire Mitigation plan is one of the most important programs the Council has initiated,” said Mountain Village Mayor Pro Tem Dan Caton. “[My wife] Liz and I have personally taken advantage of it, by thinning trees, removing trees that are too close to the house and clearing deadwood from near the house. We expect to take more actions this summer, as these precautions not only protect us but our neighbors as well.”

In order to take advantage of this incentive program, residents can schedule a free home visit with the West Region Wildfire Council to learn about their property’s wildfire risk rating. They will receive recommendations tailored to their home’s specific needs and setting.

Defensible space is the natural and landscaped area around a home or other structure that has been modified to reduce fire risk. This work can include removing trees that are too close to a structure and clearing brush or other flammable materials from the perimeter of a building.

Homeowners can then hire from a list of regional contractors and apply for a free town permit to start the forestry work. Once the project is finished and approved, the Town will reimburse homeowners up to 50 percent of the total project cost up to $5,000 per property.

“The two most important actions a homeowner can take to be proactive in the event of a wildfire event is to assure they have a non-flammable roof and assuring defensible space mitigation is done on their property,” Haynes added.

To learn more please visit townofmountainvillage.com/wildfire-mitigation.