Living in the high country requires preparations for the threat of wildfires. Summit Fire & EMS maintains a robust program to assist property owners, residents and visitors prepare for wildfire.
All Summit Fire & EMS firefighters are qualified for fighting wildfires, and our firefighters routinely deploy to wildfires nationwide to help others and hone their skills, ensuring readiness in case Summit County is threatened by fire. Additionally, SF&EMS has a dedicated three-person Wildland Division, which is available for wildfire-mitigation consultations and presentations with the public in addition to duties such as ensuring that our crews are equipped and trained to respond to wildfires and offering experienced fire-management support on first response.
Recent wildfires -- including the 2021 Ptarmigan Fire, the 2018 Buffalo Mountain Fire and the Peak 2 Fire and the Tenderfoot Fire of 2017 -- as well as from other major wildfires across the region have given us many lessons that we should heed about creating "defensible space" around homes and developed areas, about being ready to evacuate on a moment's notice and about combatting fires.
On this and subsequent pages in the wildfire section of our website, we hope to give you the tools you need to live with this constant existential threat.
Summit County Alert
Summit Fire supports the Summit County Alert system, which provides free emergency text and e-mail messages. This is one way that you will be kept informed in case a wildfire occurs in your area. Please sign up for this system today.
Ready, Set, Go!
Summit Fire is teaming up with the national Ready, Set, Go! program to encourage citizen preparation for the possibility of a catastrophic wildfire.
The Ready, Set, Go! personal action guide is a useful handbook to help you prepare for a wildfire in our community with tips on landscaping to create "defensible space" and "home hardening" to help your home withstand an encroaching wildfire or ember storm, as well as suggestions on being prepared for a wildfire.
Summit County Community Wildfire Protection Plan
Officials from Summit County, local fire districts, state and federal forest agencies, towns and others joined forces to develop the community's wildfire protection plan. This national model for wildfire protection planning is an extension of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act authorized by Congress in 2003.
Since the plan's inception, the Wildfire Council and staff have continually reviewed and refined the SCCWPP to meet the community's changing needs concerning wildfire protection. The close collaboration between the county, the fire-protection districts, the Colorado State Forest, the U.S. Forest Service and the towns makes this an extremely effective program.
Hazardous Fuels-Reduction Grant Program
Since 2006, the Summit County commissioners, through the Summit County Wildfire Council, has provided matching grants to eligible homeowner groups to conduct hazardous fuels reduction projects. For more information, call the Colorado State University Summit County Cooperative Extension office at (970) 668-4140.