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Majestic Park and Forest Edge County Ridge Estates

Forest Edge, COResidents of Majestic Park, Colorado live on 35-acre lots, much of which is wildland. After the Waldo Canyon Fire struck in 2012, community activist Bonnie Sumner decided it was time that her community became Firewise. “I decided our community needed to be Firewise. Only, I found that members of the community had already put the principles into practice. It was just the paperwork that hadn’t been done.” Sumner met with neighbors to discuss mitigation strategies and submitted the paperwork to get Majestic Park a Firewise designation.

In the nearby Forest Edge County Ridge Estates, Scott Lord was working on mitigations strategies with his Firewise community. Lord had served as a wildland firefighter with the El Paso County Wildland Fire Crew for 10 years. The weekend he had graduated from his training, the Hayman Fire struck. “I bring my technical knowledge of wildland fires to the work I do in the community,” he says.

Sumner reached out to Lord early in her Firewise process. She noticed he was featured in local newspapers for his mitigation efforts and thought he would be able to help her get started. As a result, Lord, Sumner and the nearby city of Woodland Park partnered together to receive a $10,000 mitigation grant. Through interagency partnerships with the Colorado State Forest Service, Coalition for the Upper South Palette River (CUSP) and the Northeast Teller County Fire District (NETCO) the Forest Edge and Majestic Park Firewise groups were able to clear excess vegetation from various properties and haul out slash for conversion to mulch. The group also sponsored a Wildfire Preparedness Day of Service in May.

“While there are no guarantees in wildland fire, together we can change the odds. That’s what we’re going after,” says Lord.

For more information about all the work these communities are doing to reduce their wildfire risk, visit the “wildfire preparedness” page on the Firewise website (click on “newsletters” and read the Fall 2013 Firewise “How To” Newsletter.