News Article

Colorado wildfires are making it harder to insure homes. Could a publicly funded plan stave off an insurance crisis?

The increasing risk of wildfires in Colorado is driving insurance carriers to raise premiums on homeowners’ policies — if they decide to insure them at all — and now the state’s insurance chief is suggesting a publicly funded pool of money be established to provide property insurance for those who can’t find it in the open market. Colorado experienced massive, destructive wildfires in the past few years, including the Marshall fire, which caused an estimated 

After months of public pressure, Summit Fire & EMS board selects a design for a Silverthorne fire station

The Summit Fire and EMS board of directors has chosen a concept for a fire station in Silverthorne — a move that comes after months of public pressure at Silverthorne Town Council meetings. According to the concept, the Silverthorne Fire Station would have two pull-through bays, six dorm rooms for staff, a kitchen, fitness room, day area and office space. SF&EMS Board President Lori Miller added that fully staffing the station up front might not happen immediately, but there would be at least resources north of Interstate 70.

Summit Fire & EMS "asking for patience" as growing town of Silverthorne still without fire station

It was always the plan to build a fire station in Silverthorne, but not necessarily right now. "This has been a lightning rod issue here just in recent weeks and we understand that. Fortunately, we are not sensing this is an adversarial thing, everyone is striving to do the same thing. Let's get a fire station built and staffed here," Steve Lipsher with Summit Fire & EMS said Wednesday. Residents have been vocal about their disappointment in a lack of a station.

Fire board plans first steps to build a Silverthorne fire station

As residents at the north end of Summit County continue to advocate for a fire station in Silverthorne, the Summit Fire & EMS board met to discuss the next steps of creating a solution. Fire Chief Travis Davis said the first priority is to have a truck housed somewhere in town in order to help with insurance ratings, since residents north of a 5-mile radius of the Dillon station have a lower rating.

Residents of Silverthorne want a fire station. What would it take to get one?

Over the past several weeks, increased concern from residents have been voiced about fire department response times in Silverthorne — especially with congestion happening at Exit 205 on Interstate 70. One option would be to have a kind of station called a surge station. While more than a truck in a garage, it still would not have full-time staff and would instead pull either a medic unit or engine from whatever jurisdiction is facing the least amount of calls.

Colorado mountain fire danger increases as autumn begins

At Summit Fire and EMS Station 12, wildland fire coordinator Kyle Iseminger and other firefighters are getting ready for the fall season by preparing for wildfires. “The fall could be an interesting time for fires,” said Iseminger. Much of the summer moisture is slowing, leaving behind extra-long vegetation that’s now drying out and taking the fire danger from low to high in just a few days. Read more ... 

Rain helps reduce Colorado fire risk, but growing vegetation means risk this fall

This summer has brought steady rain to much of Colorado. Summit Fire & EMS Community Resource Officer Steve Lipsher said this has helped make for a pretty mild fire season. "I can’t recall a time when we have gone into mid-August with our wildfire danger dropping from moderate to low," Lipsher said. All that rain might be great for reducing the fire danger, but it’s also been great at growing vegetation and grass that’s several feet tall. This could lead to an active fire season this fall. Story by Matt Renoux/KUSA-9News

Time to prepare: A look at one Hamilton Creek resident’s journey to mitigate risks nearly one year after the Ptarmigan Fire threatened her home

It’s a question of when, not if the next wildfire comes, and as Hamilton Creek resident Pat Gunckel -- who was evacuated during last year's Ptarmigan Fire -- knows, preparation now can make all the difference in the world for when the next one happens. Small steps to protect the home can be imperative, or as firefighters put it: “Any one thing you do that can keep fire from reaching your home may be the one thing that saves your home.” Summit Fire & EMS officials conduct free risk assessments for the community.