Ten Mile Creek becomes a Firewise Community
August 30, 2016
In August, Ten Mile Creek HOA was recognized as a Firewise Community by the National Fire Protection Association. Firewise is a national program that emphasizes community involvement and educates residents to reduce the risk of wildland fires.
On Saturday, August 27 seven homeowners from the association met at 9 a.m. for a workday. Every year they plan a workday to inspect each lot and look for hazardous trees. They look at their fire plan.
The fire plan is part of the Firewise certification process. Despite all the work that has been done over the years to reduce risk, today, the group still has a list of tasks to work on to keep their certification active.
One item the HOA is considering is adding a 20,000 to 30,000 gallon water tank, which will cost upwards of $100,000.
Mike Hulley, one of the homeowners, started the application process from the Colorado State Forest.
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"We started mitigation in 2005. Some homeowners were spraying trees," he said.
However, by 2008 the Board made a resolution that all homeowners needed to clear trees that were 50 feet from power lines and to clear their roads and driveways.
In 2009 they had to clear their lots of hazards. It was expensive and all homeowners were responsible for the cost, said Hulley.
Then they discovered there was a certification process.
They reached out to Schelly Olson at Grand Fire in Granby who administers the program, and filled out the application to become a Firewise community.
For Hulley and his neighbors there were many drivers to get the certification. One, mainly to gain credibility with the insurance companies but also it was to protect their homes.
"It shows that we care about our neighbors and we care about the people who we share borders with," he said.
"The application process can take longer if you haven't done much work," said Olson.
"They are a great example of a Firewise community that has done a lot of work so the application process isn't as long."
"Schelly and the team at Grand Fire and Colorado State Forest have been an incredible resource. If you don't want to do the work, the education is worth it," said Hulley.
The key is buy-in from all the individual homeowners.
"Community spirit needs to be built first; it's a hard sell without it," he said.
"The important part is to maintain value of your property and to be safe together," said homeowner Philip Brinkmann.
Every year each Firewise community must submit an application for recertification.
"It is a lot of work, but well worth it," said homeowner Steve DeLorm.
Ten Mile Creek becomes the fifth Firewise Community certified by the National Fire Protection Association in Grand County.
This story has been updated to reflect a correction. It is a 20,000 to 30,000 gallon water tank the HOA is considering.
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