Firewise Community

Click here to see our 2018 Firewise recognition. Volunteers make this recognition possible and are providing a safer community for us all. Thank you!

ECHPOA members are aware of wildfire dangers and have worked on Firewise projects to decrease the risk of losing their homes for many years.  There are currently more than 1500 Recognized Firewise Communities from across the nation, with 4 of those being close neighbors; KZ Ranch, Woodside Park, Burland HOA, and Deer Creek Valley Ranchos.  To view a list of all Colorado Firewise Communities go to  This program is a multi-agency effort involving homeowners, community leaders, and local fire fighters to develop a plan of action in protecting people, property, and natural resources by reducing the risk of wildfires spreading while building a safer place to live.  Firewise communities allow fire fighters to concentrate on fighting the wildfire using defensible spaces that prevent fires from advancing and endangering homes and lives.  It also improves property values, community relationships, and may even reduce insurance premiums.  Becoming a Recognized Firewise Community may also help us obtain federal funding for things such as a wood chipper.

This is an on-going project which requires ANNUAL renewal of our recognition by submitting documentation of our continued participation.  We need community members to take responsibility for reducing wildfire risks, document your time and expenses, and submit that documentation and copies of receipts to ECHPOA.  Both the hours and money spent on mitigating properties, listening to speakers, buying and posting reflective address signs, hiring someone to cut down a tree, and disposal of slash can all be used towards our ANNUAL Recognized Firewise Community requirements.

Many neighbors are willing to help each other with property mitigation needs.  If you are interested in becoming involved, able to volunteer, need volunteer help, or have any questions, please contact the association

For more information about this program go to  Send your Firewise hours worked and copies of receipts to ECHPOA, 86 Elk Creek Drive, Bailey, CO  80421.

To see our initial Recognized Firewise Community status and official notification letter go to  To see our second year recognition go to

Following is a list of recommended actions to take to help protect your home.

  1. Clear the build up of pine needles and leaves from the base of the house and any connecting structures which could otherwise ignite the home’s siding.
  2. Create a three-foot, fire-free area on all sides of your home.
  3. Clear gutters of leaves and debris.
  4. Trim any limbs on trees hanging over the house.
  5. “Limb up” trees around the house by removing lower limbs that are 10 to 15 feet from the ground. (For smaller trees use the 1/3 the height scale)
  6. Use metal flashing at all connection points of structures, such as wooden fences attached to the house.
  7. Clear trees and shrubs of dead material and keep them pruned. Space trees and shrubs far enough apart to slow the spread of an approaching wildfire. (Crowns of trees should be 15 feet apart, can have groups of 3 trees, flames can reach 2 times the height of vegetation, steeper slow farther apart)
  8. Regularly care for your property to keep it free of all dead leaves and needles.
  9. Choose deciduous trees, rather than evergreens, when planting close to your home. Sap from evergreens is a good fuel for fire. Deciduous plants burn more slowly.
  10. Install glass skylights. Plastic melts during a fire.
  11. Store firewood well away from you house, particularly during fire-season. (At least 15 feet)
  12. Remove excess vegetation along roads and remove chipped wood immediately after cutting.
  13. Use non-flammable (Class A) roofing materials.
  14. Plant native wildflowers and fire-resistant plants, keep lawns green and irrigated as they serve as good fire breaks, as do rock gardens and xeriscapes. (Keep mowed within 15 feet of any structures)
  15. Remember that wide driveways, non-flammable walkways and other pathways can slow or stop the spread of a wildfire.

For additional information regarding protecting your home, please refer to How to Prepare Your Home for Wildfires.

To learn more about how to reduce the potential fire risk of wind-blown embers on to attached decks, please refer to the Fire Spread on Ember-Ignited Decks.

Slash collected can be taken to the Bailey Slash Site.

To learn more about evacuation levels, please refer to the Wildfire Evacuation handout.

To learn more about how to sign up for the new Code Red Emergency Notification System, please refer to the Code Red handout.

To learn more about ISO classifications, please refer to the Insurance Services Office handout.

2 thoughts on “Firewise

  1. Hi
    We are contemplating purchasing a home in Elk Creek Highlands and were wondering if anyone has a cell phone carrier that works in the area. If not then who supplies hard line phone service to the area and what is the approx monthly cost of it. Also is there any internet providers in the area?Thanks

    1. Our cabin is located near the Elk Creek Highlands Property Owners Association Building and pond. I have heard of a few reception “spots” throughout the community, however, there were none on our property. We use Verizon Wireless and purchased a Network Extender from their website for a one time fee of $270. It acts like a “mini-tower” and allows us to get cell phone reception within 40 feet from the extender, inside and outside our cabin. In fact we get more “bars” with the extender than we do with the regular towers in Denver! It is about the same size as an internet router, needs to be connected to the internet through the router, and placed in a window for the best signal. We decided to go with DSL for internet access and pay CenturyLink $45 per month for that service. Unfortunately, at this time the “fastest” DSL you can get in our area is only 1.5 mbps. There are rumors that CenturyLink will have “fiber” in our area sometime in February, 2013, and the available speed will be 12 to 20 mbps. Meanwhile, the speed we currently have does cause problems if one person is using the cell phone and one person starts up the computer to access the internet. The reception worsens and internet video streaming begins to jump. Our extender is also provider specific, only cell phones with Verizon service can use it. I know there are other neighbors that use a dish and DirecTV for their services, however, for what we need the Network Extender works fine!

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