Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Waldo Canyon Fire is 70% contained. This morning, Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown said that number is higher for the city.

I’m pleased to announce this morning that the city of Colorado Springs boundaries as they relate to the Waldo Canyon Fire are 100% contained, it’s great news. I also want to remind everybody that the city and county are in a fire….a fire ban is still in effect.

Officials county and city wide continue to stress the ban includes fireworks. Some fire fighters now have the ability to issue citations.

Fire officials have praised mitigation efforts, saying they helped save areas like Cedar Heights. Property owners are encouraged to look into or continue creating defensible space.

Tax breaks, grant money available for Colorado wildfire mitigation
Little-known law passed in 2008

By Ann Imse
Colorado Public News

With tens of thousands of acres aflame in Colorado, many mountain home and property owners are madly working on fire mitigation – but may not know they can get both tax breaks and grant money to help.

State law provides a write-off on the Colorado tax return for 50 percent of wildfire mitigation costs, up to $2,500 annually, from 2009 through 2013.

The write-offs can be applied to “actual” out-of-pocket expenses, including hiring tree-cutting services and paying for chainsaws. So there’s little help for the thousands of landowners working up a sweat, personally hauling logs and branches off their own mountain properties to reduce fire danger. In other words, one’s own labor doesn’t count.

The law has received almost no publicity since it passed in 2008.

The work must be authorized by a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and the work must have been done after the local plan was approved. Colorado has 196 approved Community Wildfire Protection Plans, and they call for defensible space around many of the state’s houses in the areas where urban living meets the forest.

The law was sponsored by then-legislators Rob Witwer and Mike Kopp, who represented districts that included the mountainous Conifer/Evergreen communities southwest of Denver. Witwer said the bill passed despite the cost to the strapped state budget after he argued the entire state pays the bill when forests burn. For example, he noted, the 2002 Hayman Fire west of Colorado Springs has cost metro Denver residents tens of millions of dollars on their bills from Denver Water, for work the utility has done to deal with sediment from burned slopes ending up in reservoirs.

Landowners and homeowners associations can also apply for grants to assist their wildfire mitigation projects. Applications are available at the Colorado State Forest Service website and must be received by mail in by 4 p.m. on July 20.

Dan Gibbs, a former state senator from Breckenridge who sponsored the bill creating the grant program, said about 20 of the 25 applications this year received funding, with approvals generally going to areas with existing homes, not new developments.

“I would love to see 400” applications this year, said Gibbs, now a Summit County commissioner.


Comments are closed.


Ikon Images/Getty Images
October 9, 2015 | NPR · Experts say the field of forensic DNA is having a moment of truth about years of overstated claims, and it may tarnish its reputation as the “gold standard” of legal evidence.

AFP/Getty Images
October 9, 2015 | NPR · Pauline Cafferkey, who caught the virus last winter in Sierra Leone, was taken to the hospital with an “unusual late complication” from her previous infection. That’s a surprise — and a concern.

October 9, 2015 | NPR · With Kevin McCarthy out of the race for House speaker, the path forward is not clear. Everyone is pointing to Paul Ryan, but what if he doesn’t do it?

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
October 9, 2015 | NPR · Danny Boyle’s new biopic, Steve Jobs, is a look at the man who made Apple mean computers, not fruit. NPR film critic Bob Mondello says it’s an invigorating story told in three acts of crisis.

October 9, 2015 | NPR · Jeanette Winterson’s retelling of The Winter’s Tale includes hedge fund managers and a New Orleans setting. But critic Annalisa Quinn says the book doesn’t quite stand on its own.

Twentieth Century Fox
October 9, 2015 | NPR · On this week’s show, we chat about The Martian, consider other stories that enlighten us about the work people do, and — as always — offer up what’s making us happy this week.


Redferns via Getty Images
October 9, 2015 | NPR · James Blake returned to the BBC Radio 1 Residency to perform a chilling rendition of the Simon & Garfunkel classic with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

Courtesy of the artists
October 9, 2015 | NPR · On this week’s +1 podcast, Peaches and Meg Remy of U.S. Girls talk about why they’re drawn to graphic music and how they navigate the issues that come with performing provocative material live.

Library of Congress
October 9, 2015 | NPR · In a 1986 session, the session pianist and Lester Young collaborator demonstrated his boogie-woogie style.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac