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

Town of Mountain Village and TMVOA create Cedar Shake Incentive Fire Mitigation Program

Cedar Shake

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Emergency Preparedness

The Town of Mountain Village in collaboration with the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association as a funding partner is upping its commitment to incentivize property owners for preventive measures in wildfire hazard mitigation.

The Town currently has a Wildfire Mitigation Defensible Space Incentive Program in place to help residents create a woodland defensible space barrier around their home or buildings lowering their property’s wildfire risk. The program provides a resident rebate up to 50 percent of the total defensible space project costs up to $5,000 per property.

To continue in these efforts, Mountain Village Town Council implemented a Cedar Shake Incentive Fire Mitigation Program in 2017 providing a rebate toward building permit fees when residents re-roof their home or building from cedar shake shingles to a town-approved fire-rated roofing material.

“A Mountain Village property has a 70 percent wildfire survival rate if the structure on their property has a non-flammable roof and a 99 percent survival rate if the property has both a non-flammable roof on the structure and defensible space has also been created on the property,” explained Planning and Development Services Director Michelle Haynes, “Every cedar shake roof that is replaced in our community with a non-flammable material is a win.”

In order to increase participation in the program and help prepare Mountain Village for the possibility of wildfire, Town Council recently approved changing the program from a rebate to a complete fee waiver and removing the $5,000 cap per incentive with TMVOA committing to funding the fee waiver.

“As we have seen throughout the state, the risk of wildfire and ensuing damages to whole communities is very real,” said Mayor Laila Benitez. “Town Council created the Cedar Shake Incentive Program to support our property owners’ efforts to lower their home’s wildfire risk. This is the single most impactful step homeowners can take to reduce their home’s risk and we are committed to helping owners achieve this risk reduction.”

To take advantage of this program’s cost savings, residents must apply for approval to re-roof their home or building from cedar shake shingles to an approved fire rated roofing material and submit a Town of Mountain Village building permit for review and approval through the Design Review Board. This incentive program is open until funds are exhausted and is for properties within the Town of Mountain Village.

“We thank TMVOA for their partnership and continued support of this vital program. We look forward to working together on this and other programs that benefit our community,” Benitez said.

To learn more about the Cedar Shake Incentive Fire Mitigation Program and the necessary steps taken to receive a building permit fee waiver to re-roofing their home or building, please visit

Important reminders for snow removal measures

Snow Removal

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Emergency Preparedness

With this week’s monumental snowstorm dropping 58 inches of new snow in the past seven days (39” of which has fallen since Monday), the Town of Mountain Village would like to remind residents, property managers and business owners of the following safety precautions when clearing snow from properties:

  • Ensure the address monuments for your properties are cleared of all snow so emergency personnel can see them from the main road. This is also helpful for FedEx and UPS drivers.
  • Remember to clear any exterior vents on your house. If the vents are on the roof, please consider hiring professionals to do this work. If boiler vents are blocked with snow, this can create an increased risk of carbon monoxide emissions in your home. In that same vein, be sure to have carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and ensure they have fresh batteries.
  • When removing snow from your roof be sure to communicate with any possible individuals below and make sure a potential roof slide isn’t going to bury or break your gas meter line. Also, please keep snow clear from your gas meter.


If you have any questions please call the Mountain Village Police Department at 970.728.9281 or Telluride Fire District offices at 970.728.3801. if you have an emergency always call 911, or if you can’t call, text 911. And be sure to follow the Mountain Village Police Department on Twitter and Facebook for the updates on conditions, safety and more.


Fire Restrictions Lifted for Town of Mountain Village and San Miguel County

Fire Ban Lifted

Words by Bill Kight / Emergency Preparedness

In conjunction with unincorporated San Miguel County, the Town of Mountain Village has lifted all Fire Restrictions on Wednesday, September 5 due to recent rainfall and decreased fire danger across the county.

“Town officials are pleased to lift restrictions and want to thank our community members and guests for their patience and diligence during this unusually dry season and ask to please be fire safe, said Marketing & Business Development Director, Bill Kight.”

For information on current conditions, future town restrictions for the Town of Mountain Village, and emergency preparedness information, please visit

Stay informed and connect with Mountain Village:

Other useful information to stay informed and receive updates and emergency notifications are as follows:

Mountain Village Celebrates Safe Communities with National Night Out Event, Food and Ice Cream Social

National Night Out

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Emergency Preparedness

Bringing together community members and emergency responders, the Mountain Village Police Department is hosting their seventh annual National Night Out Tuesday, August 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. The community is invited to join their neighbors, police, fire, and EMS teams at Mountain Village’s Meadows Parking Lot located at Adams Ranch Rd for free ice cream, BBQ, swag, games, and tours of police cars, fire trucks and an ambulance. Food will be provided by Shake N Dog Grub Shack and Telluride Fire.

National Night Out, a part of the National Association of Town Watch, involves over 38 million people in 16,000-plus communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. This well-known and celebrated annual event was designed to heighten community awareness of safety and fire prevention issues, as well as to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnership.

National Night Out is one of many ways local police and fire departments become acquainted with our community in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Come to celebrate this national event referred to as America’s Night Out Against Crime.

“National Night Out provides a great opportunity for our residents to get out and meet the first responders that serve them in the community. It allows our first responders and our neighbors the chance to build a safer community through open communication and community engagement in a fun, relaxed, and inclusive environment, “ said Mountain Village Police Chief Chris Broady.

For more event information, please contact the Mountain Village Police Department at (970) 728-9281.

Mayor’s Minute Emergency Preparedness

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Emergency Preparedness, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

With the fires south of us blowing quite a bit of smoke our way and ongoing severe drought conditions persisting, many of us are growing concerned about how we should be preparing and staying informed in case of an emergency. Linked below is the Town of Mountain Village Emergency and Evacuation Guide and Evacuation Map. Please take some time to review what you can do now to prepare for a possible emergency and possible evacuation routes. In the case of a wildfire, you may need to evacuate quickly, and we want you to be prepared.

It only takes a few minutes to get started today:

  1. Review the Evacuation Map and Emergency Preparedness Guide – note that an additional evacuation access road has been added on Adams Ranch Road to Hwy 145.
  2. Sign up for CodeRED alerts
  3. Build a kit for every member of your household with medications, essential supplies, a change of clothes, chargers, all important documents (e.g. insurance, passport, birth certificates) available for evacuation.
  4. For more info, please visit our public safety pages on our website.
  5. For information on current conditions and fire restrictions visit

Reminder: All open fires and fireworks are prohibited. In addition, smoking is restricted to enclosed vehicles, buildings, or on paved, hardscape areas. Stage 2 fire restrictions are in effect throughout San Miguel County to include U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Town of Telluride and Mountain Village.

Let’s all do our part to have a fun and safe Fourth of July!

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Now in Place Countywide

Stage 2 Fire Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Emergency Preparedness

June 15, 2018 — (San Miguel County, CO) – Stage 2 fire restrictions in effect throughout San Miguel County to include U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Town of Telluride and Mountain Village.

San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters issued a temporary order June 4th enacting Stage 2 restrictions. San Miguel County Board of Commissioners is set to formally adopt these restrictions via Resolution at their Wednesday, June 20th regularly scheduled meeting.

The following acts are prohibited under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect across San Miguel County, including US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management property in the county. These restrictions also apply in the Town of Telluride and Town of Mountain Village who passed their ordinances.Fire Restrictions

  • OPEN FIRE: Building, maintaining, attending or using an OPEN FLAME, including fire, campfire, stove fire, charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) using a liquid fuel such as white gas or kerosene.Exception: Operating a stove, lantern, or other device using pressurized gas (natural gas, propane or isobutene) equipped with a valve that allows the operator to immediately turn the flame on and off.
  • SMOKING except in an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building or on paved, hardscape areas in compliance with applicable clean air acts. All cigarette butts must be fully extinguished and disposed of in a receptacle designed for cigarette butts.
  • CHAINSAW operation without an approved spark arresting device, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available
  • WELDING or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame (check with Town of Telluride for exceptions)
  • EXPLOSIVE USE. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
  • TARGET SHOOTING ON BLM LAND – To include discharging a FIREARM, air rifle, or gas gun.
  • MOTOR VEHICLE OFF ESTABLISHED ROADS, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle (except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and trailheads).
  • FIREWORKS: The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands.

A poster is attached to assist with distribution of this information. A website with restriction information for west region counties has been created It has information for Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Hinsdale, Gunnison and Delta counties as well as our federal partners.

Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer  (970) 729-2028, or email.

Town of Mountain Village Continues Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Fire Restrictions Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Communications, Emergency Preparedness

On Thursday, June 14, Mountain Village Town Council approved a motion to continue a fire restriction ordinance implementing a ban on open fires and fireworks and restricting smoking within the Town of Mountain Village. In conjunction with San Miguel County, Town of Telluride, Telluride Fire Protection District, Norwood Fire Protection District, and Egnar Fire Protection District, the Town of Mountain Village remains under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions effective immediately due to exceptional drought conditions and fire danger in the region.

Police Chief Chris Broady stressed, “We don’t perceive any imminent risk to the public for either Town of Mountain Village or the Town of Telluride.” “However, Fire danger is unusually high for both our towns and neighboring counties and ask that our residents, please be aware, be ready, and be prepared. Everyone needs to know, understand, and obey all fire restrictions, including our visiting guests.”

Under town ordinance No. 02-04 § 2 of the Town of Mountain Village Municipal Code, the following shall apply to all open fires within the incorporated limits of the Town, as further specified herein, but shall not apply to approved, permanent gas fireplace locations within a residential or commercial building:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, and charcoal, paper or wood grills;
  2. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building or an area at least three (3) feet in diameter cleared of all flammable material; on any paved hardscape areas; and all smoking debris shall be disposed of properly in an enclosed container;
  3. Fireworks of any kind;
  4. Operation of a chainsaw or a chop saw for cutting steel without USDA or SAE approved spark arresting devise property installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounces capacity by weight, and one size zero (0) or larger round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least thirty-six (36) inches. The extinguisher shall be with the chainsaw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use;
  5. Welding or operating acetylene or any other torch with an open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least ten (10) feet on all sides from the equipment;
  6. Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.

Permitted actions include:

  • Any fires contained within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves and fireplaces;
  • Operating a stove, lantern, or other device fueled by liquid petroleum or bottled fuel equipped with a valve that allows the operator to turn the flame on and off.
  • Operating an internal or external combustion engine with a properly installed and maintained spark-arresting device in effective working order.

This Order shall remain in effect for 30 days unless adopted by Resolution by the Mountain Village Town Council.

Ouray, Montrose, and Delta counties are currently under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. La Plata and San Juan counties are under Stage 3 Fire Restrictions.

Please be advised U.S. Forest Service-Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests (except Grand Mesa) National Forest areas have also declared Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. Please visit, to stay informed on regional fire restrictions and preparedness info.

For information on current conditions, fire restrictions for the Town of Mountain Village and emergency preparedness and evacuation information, please visit

Below are various options to stay informed and to receive updates and emergency notifications for the region:

Stay informed and connect with Mountain Village:


Mountain Village Media Contact and Public Information Officer
Bill Kight
(970) 369.6430 (o)
(970) 729.2179 (c)
[email protected]

Situated in the heart of the breathtaking San Juan Mountains, Mountain Village was incorporated in 1995 as a home rule municipality.  Its founders envisioned a European-style ski-in/ski-out, pedestrian-friendly destination resort that would complement the historic mining town of Telluride. A three-stage gondola transportation system connects the Town of Mountain Village with the Town of Telluride. Situated at 9,500 feet, Mountain Village is comparably a world apart from other resorts: it is innately spectacular, beautifully orchestrated and planned, and overflowing with style, charm and sophistication. For more information, please visit us on the Web at

The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980. For more information, please visit us on the Web at

For information on prescribed burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on National Forest System lands and other areas, call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information line at 970.874.6602, or 970.765.8563, visit the GMUG Forest website (; Twitter (#GMUGNF);  Facebook:

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests manage approximately 3 million acres of land in Southwest Colorado within Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel counties.

Mountain Village Police Department Host National Night Out and Ice Cream Social August 1

National Night Out

Words by Bill Kight / Community, Emergency Preparedness

Bringing together community members and emergency responders, the Mountain Village Police Department is excited to announce the sixth annual National Night Out Tuesday, August 1. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the community is invited to join their neighbors, police, and fire department teams at the Mountain Village’s Village Court Apartments (VCA) for a free ice cream social and tours of police cars, fire trucks and ambulance. Free gun safety locks will be available, and the Telluride Fire District will offer free blood pressure readings. Also, this year’s festivities will include free hot dogs, swag, karaoke, games, a donut eating contest and much more!

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our communities safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a real sense of community. Furthermore, it provides an excellent opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

“Once again, we are excited to bring together our neighbors and residents to get to know one another and the first responders who serve them in the community,” said Mountain Village Police Chief Chris Broady. “A huge thanks goes to the Village Court Apartment staff for taking the lead in organizing this year’s event.”

For more event information, contact Cecilia Curry at the Village Court Apartments at (970) 369-8233.

Escrito por –

Reuniendo los miembros de la comunidad y respondedores de emergencia, el departamento de policía de Mountain Village esta entusiasmado de anunciar la sexta Noche Nacional anual el martes, 1 de agosto. A las 5 de la tarde hasta las 8 de la noche, la comunidad está invitada a acompañar a sus vecinos, policías y el equipo de bomberos en Mountain Village Court (VCA) para helados gratis, perros calientes, y excursiones de los coches de policía, camiones de bomberos y ambulancias. Las cerraduras de seguridad del arma libres estarán disponibles, y el Distrito de Fuego de Telluride ofrecerá lecturas gratis de presión sanguínea. ¡Además, las festividades de este año incluirán gratis cosas, perros calientes, karaoke, juegos, un concurso de comer donuts y mucho más!

Millones de vecinos participan en la Noche Nacional a través de miles de comunidades en todos los 50 estados, territorios de Los Estas Unidos, ciudades canadienses y bases militares por todo el mundo el primer martes del mes de agosto. La Noche Nacional es una campaña anual que construye esfuerzo comunitario que promueve las asociaciones de la comunidad policial y la camaradería del vecindario para hacer nuestras comunidades más seguras y lugares más cariñosos para vivir. La Noche Nacional mejora la relación entre los vecinos y el cumplimiento de la ley, mientras que trae de vuelta un verdadero sentido de la comunidad. Además, proporciona una excelente oportunidad para reunir a la policía y a los vecinos en circunstancias positivas.

“Una vez más, estamos entusiasmados de reunir a nuestros vecinos y residentes para conocernos unos a otros y a los primeros respondedores que les sirven en la comunidad,” dijo el jefe de policía de Mountain Village Chris Broady. “Un enorme agradecimiento al equipo de Village Court Apartment (VCA) por haber tomado la iniciativa de organizar el evento de este año.”

Para más información sobre el evento, póngase en contacto con Cecilia Curry en el Village Court Apartment at  (970) 369-8233.

Power outage illuminates strengths, identifies goals for improvements

Emergency Notification

Words by Nichole Zangara / Emergency Preparedness

On behalf of the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, Telluride Marshal’s Office, Mountain Village Police Department, the Town of Telluride, the Town of Mountain Village, San Miguel County Commissioners, and Telluride Ski & Golf Company, we thank everyone for their patience, understanding and overall good spirit during the nearly 23-hour power outage this past weekend.

In a debrief meeting Tuesday afternoon, representatives from the above agencies identified measures that will be taken to help maintain public safety and best obtain and disseminate information to the public, including during times when cell and/or internet service is not available to all.

Plans include but are not limited to:

  1. Improve communication plan with San Miguel Power and Tristate Power.
  2. Work with cell carriers to establish more reliable back up signals.
  3. Identify location(s) in the Town of Telluride and the Town of Mountain Village where people can gather for information, warmth and power to charge devices.
  4. Continue to educate the public for emergency preparedness, where to find existing county emergency plans, and how to best stay informed during an emergency incident.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to sign up for CodeRED alerts and “Notify Me” News Flashes from the Sheriff, like the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, and follow @SheriffAlert on Twitter to receive important information and updates during emergency incidents.

Sheriff Bill Masters said emergency preparedness plans are a priority of the county and its agencies, and this power outage serves as an opportunity to identify areas and take action for improvement. “We want to do everything we can to keep the public safe and informed during emergency incidents, and we are taking meaningful steps to do better.”