Montrose District

Wildfire Mitigation

Wildfire Hazard Evaluation and Mitigation

Wildfire Hazard Area Mapping (WHAM)

Montrose District personnel can identify and map wildfire hazard areas for county planning departments. ARC/INFO software is used in preparing Geographic Information System (GIS) data. We assist counties at the desired level whether through the complete process of photo typing, ground-truthing and digitizing the data into the GIS, or merely interpreting of the aerial photography and identifying of wildfire hazard areas.

House Bill 1041 Wildfire Hazard Reviews


CSFS is the designated state agency by H.B. 1041 to review, upon county request (CRS 30-28-136 - 22 KB PDF), the Wildfire Hazard “state area of concern.” (CRS 24-65.1-202 - 21 KB PDF)

We adhere to state and national (NFPA 1144) standards for these evaluations. The CSFS also can assist local jurisdictions in the development of appropriate guidelines (CRS 24-65.1-402 - 13 KB PDF) to address wildland fire hazards as a “state area of concern.” To order a current copy of this NFPA 1144, Standard for Protection of Life and Property from Wildfire, contact NFPA or visit their online catalog.


Many rural homeowners are not aware of common issues related to wildland fires; these hazards often are reduced with carefully planning the location of the building site and use of appropriate construction materials and design, firewise landscaping and maintenance. CSFS assistance includes identifying necessary on-the-ground mitigation, funding mitigation programs through cost-share grants and disseminating educational materials.

Post-fire Rehabilitation

CSFS assists affected landowners with wildfire rehabilitation plans following wildfire events. These plans outline structural erosion control measures and suggest needed re-vegetation to assist the land healing process. Many rehabilitation plans are implemented with cost-share assistance.

Learn more about post-fire rehabilitation

West Region Wildfire Council

The Montrose District also houses the West Region Wildfire Council's Coordinator, Lilia Coulter. The West Region Wildfire Council (WRWC) supports interagency efforts to develop and implement plans to better mitigate the threat of catastrophic wildland fire to communities and natural resources in the Colorado counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel.

The WRWC serves an area of more than six million acres and a population of more than 100,000. The council is diligent in encouraging the exchange of information and collaboration between local communities and state and federal fire managers for fuels management, wildfire suppression, enhancing capability, planning and collaboration. Furthermore, the objectives of WRWC are defined as:

  • Develop county-wide Community Wildfire Protection Plans to meet HFRA (2003) and Colorado State Forest Service requirements (2009)
  • Work directly with federal partners to provide input on fire management plans
  • Prepare counties, sheriff's departments, fire protection districts, communities and interagency fire management partners to plan for and mitigate the potential threats from wildland fire
  • Promote wildfire preparation, prevention and mitigation education
  • Assist local communities with fuels reduction projects on private land in the wildland urban interface

Wildfire Training

Wildland Fire Qualifications - Colorado wildland fire fighters from non-federal agencies are certified through their state district forester. Qualified firefighters are issued a qualifications card commonly referred to as a “red card.” The minimum requirements for a basic firefighter are completions of Basic Wildland Firefighting (S-130) and Fire Behavior (S-190) and completion of the physical fitness test during the current calendar year. The interagency standard physical fitness test is the “Pack Test.” Prior to full qualification, fire fighters are required to complete a task book for each fire position listed on their qualification card.

Colorado West Central Fire Training Association (CWCFTA) - Thirty-five western Colorado fire departments form this membership. This gives them access to training materials which assist in emergency preparedness.

Colorado Wildland Fire & Incident Management Academy - The academy has become the place for Colorado (and now national and international) wildfire agencies to receive nationally qualifying (NWCG) wildfire training. The Colorado Wildfire Academy is co-sponsored by federal, state and local agencies, and private vendors. This combination has led to its tremendous success.

National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Wildfire Courses: