First Mitigation Project Protects Homes, River Habitat, and Firefighters
With the help of collaborating partner agencies, Two Rivers Wildfire Coalition has recently completed the organization’s first wildfire mitigation project in Mesa County. The project site, located off 28 ¾ Road, focused on creating defensible space between riparian habitat at a Colorado Parks and Wildlife property and approximately 12 nearby dwellings. By removing invasive species in the high risk area the project not only protects people and property but also enhances river habitat and creates zones for firefighter safety and access should a fire occur in that area.
After receiving a donation from Grand Junction Area Realtor’s Association (GJARA), the Wildfire Coalition selected the site because of the high wildfire risk along the river corridor and the impact the site would have in protecting homes. Colorado Parks and Wildlife directed and coordinated work in the area, and Grand Valley Power who serves residents in the defined area, donated in-kind work including trimming, chipping, and removing green waste.
Coalition Co-Chair and CPW Park Manager Pete Firmin said, “This is really a great example of what can happen when our community and our agencies work together to reduce wildfire risk in our County.” GJARA’s coordinator, Lori Carlston-Thompson said, “The Grand Junction Area Realtor Association affiliates were really excited to be able to help with this project! This not only helps to protect our homes and communities, but also the lives of our families and firefighters!”
Two Rivers Wildfire Coalition is a collaborative non-profit focused on protecting Mesa County communities and natural resources by bolstering wildfire preparedness mitigation, response, and recovery efforts. With over 15 federal, state, local, non-profit, and private agencies working together, the group looks forward to completing more mitigation and education projects in the area in the coming year.