Colorado's Wildland-Urban Interface

Uncontrolled wildland fire is particularly hazardous in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), areas where human development is close to, or within, natural terrain and flammable vegetation, and where high potential for wildland fire exists.

The wildland-urban interface, or WUI, is any area where man-made improvements are built close to, or within, natural terrain and flammable vegetation, and where high potential for wildland fire exists. Wildfires in Colorado are a natural part of our ecosystems and help restore and maintain healthy forests.

Click on the Colorado Wildfire Hazard Map for a larger version (270 KB PDF).

During the past few decades, population in the interface has increased. Homes, businesses and subdivisions are being built on forested lands that have historically seen regular fires, and even need them to remain healthy. In order to preserve human life and property, firefighters have worked hard to suppress and control fires; this has had a negative effect on functioning ecosystems.

To help return forests to a more "natural" state, it is important that land managers and property owners work together. Buildings and the surrounding property should be adapted so that, when fires burn, firefighters can do their job safely to protect man-made structures while allowing fire to take its natural course in the ecosystem. Allowing natural fires to occur will help create a healthier forest and ultimately reduce the risks associated with large and unmanageable fires.