The Falcon Fire Protection District (FFPD) protects approximately 113 square miles. Of that, more than one-third of the property is located in boundary areas or in the urban interface. The urban interface is best defined as the area where homes meet the wildlands or where homes are intermixed with the wildlands. This includes both grasslands and forest.
All these areas are covered with vegetation that will sustain wildfire under certain weather conditions and promote destructive wildfires. El Paso County has experienced many wildfires in the past, with the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire and the 2013 Black Forest fire being some of the most destructive in Colorado history. Studies have revealed that historically large wildfires impacted the Front Range an average of every 2-7 years. The vegetation that occupies the foothills, Ponderosa Pine and native grasses, are fire-adapted species which thrive in fire environments.
FFPD's weather has a very strong influence on fire behavior. We are located in a rain shadow due to the topography to the west. In addition, the Front Range experiences strong and erratic winds due to thunderstorm activity in the spring and summer, and Chinook winds in the fall and winter. In addition, we experience local wind phenomena that occur due to extreme topographic features to the west. A combination of high temperatures, low humidities, little or no moisture for prolonged periods, and combustible vegetation make the Front Range environment susceptible to large wildfires. Small fires can turn large in an instant.
Urban sprawl and development in the wildlands has contributed to the ever increasing wildfire problem. It is our goal to work with our community as well as other local fire departments, citizens, local, state, and federal agencies to mitigate and manage the wildfire danger in the FFPD.
Because many of the homes in our district are located within the wildland urban interface, it is crucial that homeowners work in partnership with us to create the safest environment possible. Homeowners must take a personal investment in understanding the risk and the ways that defensible spaces and defendable structures not only help themselves, but their entire community.
The Falcon Fire Protection District has staff that are trained and prepared to help homeowners better protect their families, homes, and property. It’s never too early to start preparing. Please review the links and let us know how we can help.