These counties in the western United States where there are towns and communities located near federal lands, with a large tribal presence. The counties include the Rocky Mountain High Country around Aspen and Granby, CO; Coeur d’Alene, ID; Rapid City, SD; Flagstaff, AZ; and west of Santa Fe, NM. There are a lot of USDA Forest Service Land and BIA lands. These counties have a high home density. Even though these areas have a higher than average demographic advantage, large amounts of the population are also disadvantaged.

Example of a Typical County — Teller County, Colorado: Teller County lies west of Colorado Springs, and includes the towns of Woodland Park, Divide, and Florissant. The severe Hayman Fire occurred here in 2012.

National Priorities

Vegetation and Fuels High
Homes, Communities and Values at Risk High
Human-Caused Ignitions Low
Effective and Efficient Response:
There is high risk of large wildfires, more potential for resource benefits.

Policy Options and Opportunities

Vegetation and Fuels
These counties may consider using prescribed fire as one of their primary fuel management options. There may be limited areas within these counties where wildfire could be considered for restoring landscapes, but planners could be aware of the conflicts with communities. Where the conflict is large, the communities may want to use mechanical fuel treatments to create a buffer. These mechanical treatments may be economical when there is an active forest products industry nearby.

Homes, Communities and Values at Risk
Communities can plan and take coordinated action, in combination with individual actions by property owners. This can include the creation of buffers and strategic fuel breaks. These counties could adjust building and construction codes in municipal areas.

Human-Caused Ignitions
Human caused ignitions are not as great here as in other parts of the country, but may deserve attention if a local situation dictates.

Effective and Efficient Wildfire Response
Prepare for large, long duration wildfires.

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