These are the counties of the West that contain many small cities, as well as the bedroom communities for the larger cities. They include Santa Fe, NM; Bend, OR; Missoula, MT; Colorado Springs, CO; Ft. Collins, CO; Durango, CO; Provo, UT; Prescott, AZ; and the towns to the north of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The communities are surrounded by big natural landscapes that have a history of fire. There is abundant federal land close to these communities, so fuel treatments and applying buffer zones can be advantageous. Additionally, because of the higher demographic advantage, there are more local resources to contribute to these efforts. Due to the combination of the high risk of fire and the higher economic capacity of the counties, there are more options available to consider, but investments to control fuels and contain fire will continue to be large.

Example of a Typical County — Yavapai County, Arizona: This county has regular large fires nearly every year on federal and non-federal land. This county includes the town of Prescott.

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 want to consider using prescribed fire and wildland fire as their primary fuel management options. These counties may have contiguous areas that could benefit from the use of landscape-scale prescribed fire. Strategic fuel breaks may be warranted. These counties could manage wildfires for multiple benefits, but will need an awareness of community risk. There may be an active forest products industry nearby, which could support fuel treatments.

Homes, Communities and Values at Risk
Individual homeowners can be proactive on home defensive actions. Communities can plan and take coordinated action. 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 a problem in these counties. Reduce accidental and human-caused ignitions through enforcement or outreach.

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

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