The Wildfire Research (WiRē) Center is a nonprofit organization that works with wildfire practitioners seeking pathways to create fire adapted communities. Historically, immediate threats and wildfire response have garnered much attention and resources. While these efforts remain critical, expanding the approaches available to reduce risk while promoting pathways to fire adaptation is of paramount importance. Fire adaptation is about living with wildfire. It’s about creating safe and resilient communities that reduce wildfire risk on their properties before a fire, and supporting effective response when fires threaten a community. It is also about allowing fire on the landscape when it safe to do so, where it will help forests be healthy.
In 2018, the Grand County Wildfire Council began working with the Wildfire Research (WiRē) Center to better understand the similarities and differences between real wildfire risk (as determined by fire professionals) and perceived wildfire risk (as viewed by our homeowners).
During the summer of 2019, fire professionals from various Grand County fire departments performed rapid risk assessments on homes in five different communities throughout the county. In 2020, we mailed surveys to the homeowners of all assessed parcels and received a 50% response rate!