DENVER, CO - The House Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources Committee today passed legislation to distribute funds to help homeowners better protect their properties from wildfire damage.
“Wildfires can wipe out entire neighborhoods in just a couple of hours and have devastating consequences for communities throughout Colorado, including my hometown with the Waldo Canyon fire in 2012,” said Rep. Marc Snyder, D-Manitou Springs. “This bill will save property owners money on effective firefighting strategies and proactive approaches to retrofit their home, barns, or other buildings on their property to be more resilient to wildfire while promoting education on wildfire resiliency.”
“Colorado is ranked in the top five states with the highest wildfire risk, and what used to be a wildfire season is now a year-round threat,” said Rep. Junie Joseph, D-Boulder. “Wildfire prevention and mitigation efforts can save Colorado millions of dollars, while also greatly reducing displacement and the devastation of entire neighborhoods. This bill will create a grant program to help property owners harden their structures through strategies and technologies to mitigate the risk of wildfires.”
HB23-1273, which passed by a vote of 10-3, creates the Wildfire Resilient Homes Grant Program. Qualified homeowners can apply to the program to receive grant money to cover retrofitting or structural improvements to existing houses and other buildings. This grant program also expands to new-builds and rebuilds to make any structure on a homeowner’s property more resilient against wildfires.
Wildfires have become an increasing threat in Colorado, with the three largest wildfires in Colorado history occurring in 2020 alone. The International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC) provides standards for building wildfire-resilient homes, including non-combustible roofing, underfloor protection, defensible space, and residential sprinklers.