Risk in Mesa County

One third of all U.S. homes are built in the wildland urban interface, also known as the WUI (woo-ee.) This is a zone where wild plants and forests meet structures, causing a high risk for wildfires to spread to homes.

In Mesa County wildfire is one of our greatest natural threats. 

Use the Fire Intensity Scale in the interactive viewer

to estimate wildfire risk in your area.

interactive viewer.PNG

Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) take an in-depth look at wildfire risk, and propose solutions to reduce risk. Explore the two CWPPs for Mesa County below. 

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Natural Resources

Low-intensity wildfires can reduce the build up of fuels, promote plant diversity, and return much needed nutrients back into the soil.

However, high-intensity wildfires can have devastating impacts on critical habitats, water quality, and community assets.

 

Because of this, it is important to manage the land and educate the community to find a balance that gains the benefits, but avoids the devastation of fire.

Use the links below to learn more about wildfire impacts.

Part of what people love about Colorado is our public lands, parks, and preserves. These beautiful areas provide essential habitat for plants and animals, and add to the quality of life in Mesa County. 

After wildfires, ash and soot can runoff into rivers and streams negatively impacting water quality, choking rivers of oxygen and harming aquatic wildlife.

Kid Rowing

Kid Rowing

Abstract Water

Abstract Water

Aerial Photo of a River

Aerial Photo of a River

 These transition zones between land and river habitats are critical to the larger desert ecosystm. They protect the watershed, but plants may also become overgrown and more vulnerable to fires. 

 

Community Impacts

Beyond natural resources, the effects of wildfires can be far-reaching. Individuals, neighborhoods, businesses, economies, infrastructure, and utilities can all feel the impacts of a wildfire long after the flames are gone.

IMG_7438

IMG_7438

Utility Pole

Utility Pole

cooking-hands-handwashing-health-545013.

cooking-hands-handwashing-health-545013.

Smoke affects people and animals, especially young children, older adults and those with asthma, heart problems, and health conditions.

Power can be shut off for long periods of time during a fire for safety reasons. This impacts health equipment, food storage, cell phones, and emergency information.

Water resources can be compromised by direct contamination or when electricity is down and treatment systems are disrupted.

lighted-beige-house-1396132

lighted-beige-house-1396132

closeup-photo-black-door-yes-we-are-open

closeup-photo-black-door-yes-we-are-open

Collbran_Library

Collbran_Library

Fires don't stop at fences or property lines. The wildland urban interface presents immediate threats to personal property and businesses in the community.

Services, tourism, and business operations all feel an immediate impact from wildfires. Recovery is dynamic and long-term with both negative impacts and positive opportunities.

Historical, cultural, and social resources are also at stake in a wildfire. Significant places, organizations, and resources can all be destabilized or at risk from wildfire activities.