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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.

The wildland-urban interface, or WUI, is the area where structures and other human developments meet or intermingle with wildland vegetation. Wildfires in Colorado are a natural part of our ecosystems and help restore and maintain healthy forests.

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.

Colorado’s Wildland Urban Interface – 2018

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To access statewide geospatial data and information related to forestry and natural resources, including WUI information, visit the Colorado Forest Atlas.

Learn More About Wildfire Mitigation