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Aspen Fire Department Unveils Wildfire Risk Map

Jun 1, 2020

Deputy fire chief Parker Lathrop says residents can use the wildfire risk map to take wildfire precautions before a wildfire threatens.
Credit Screenshot from Wildfire Adapted Communities Project

The Aspen Fire Protection District has a new online tool to help residents find out how vulnerable their houses might be to wildfire. An interactive online map rates areas for their general wildfire risk and structures for their individual fire vulnerability.

“People can look at this map in the off years and say, okay, my house has a high risk or a medium risk,” said Parker Lathrop, Aspen Fire Department deputy chief. “What efforts can I make now to reduce my risk so when we do hit that drought year, they’re ahead of the curve – they’ve already made those changes.”

Buildings in and around Aspen receive an “area risk” rating based on their location, which is determined by assessing “vegetation, topography, neighboring land features and many other elements inherent to a defined land area.”

A second rating, based on the characteristics of the building itself, examines “building design and materials, vegetation density at and around a structure, access to and from the structure and many other human influenced characteristics of a property.”

Lathrop said residents should contact the fire department for more details on their home’s rating and information about wildfire mitigation.