Project DescriptionIn 2020 BTWC was awarded funds to support defensible space and forest management demonstration sites with landowners in the Storm Mountain communities of Drake, CO. This community area is one of the densest housing areas within the Big Thompson Canyon with over 500 year-round and seasonal residents. Given 2020’s record-breaking fire season in Northern Colorado, active USFS forest management surrounding the community, and resident interest in forest management support, this community was and remains a priority location to increase landowner interest, knowledge, and participation in wildfire risk mitigation work. This project focused on cost-share mitigation work with six landowners in the Storm Mountain area. Treatments were a mix of defensible space and forest thinning and included varied fuel processing treatments including pile building/burning, mastication and chipping, lop and scatter, and utilizing cut material for firewood. In addition to implementing wildfire mitigation work, BTWC and two graduate students from CSU engaged the community to identify challenges and concerns as well as action steps and assets within the community that could be leveraged to address wildfire risk. Through these efforts we helped residents establish a community-led Wildfire Action Group who will continue to engage and activate the community around wildfire preparedness and mitigation.
The Storm Mountain Wildfire Action Group or SWAG is a group of community members who have come together with the assistance of BTWC, Coalitions and Collaborative, and Loveland Fire Rescue Authority to address community engagement around wildfire mitigation work. The group is currently working to establish a community chipping program, increase community awareness and engagement around wildfire preparedness, provide medical trainings, and establish effective emergency communication channels.
Storm Mountain Today
Storm Mountain and surrounding forests which are a mix of U.S. Forest Service and private ranch land.
Following completion of projects, BTWC led community tours for others to learn more about the mitigation work.
Six properties mitigated
Over 1,000 volunteer hours contributed through volunteer days and landowner mitigation efforts
Helped establish a community-led Wildfire Action Group
18.5 acres treated