Realtors join forces with insurance companies, wildfire safety organizations to offer preparedness guide for Colorado residents | VailDaily.com

Realtors join forces with insurance companies, wildfire safety organizations to offer preparedness guide for Colorado residents

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newsroom@vaildaily.com

ENGLEWOOD — With one of the most destructive wildfire seasons in state history burning homes and endangering communities, the Colorado Association of Realtors has teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association and other state wildfire prevention and insurance stakeholders to create a consumer-focused Colorado Property and Insurance Wildfire Preparedness Guide.

Digital and hard-copy guides featuring best practices in wildfire mitigation, safety and insurance preparation for property owners, frequently asked questions and direct links to a wide range of local community resources for residents are available through the program's website, http://www.coloradoproject wildfire.com.

"Our Project Wildfire team has created a unique, comprehensive resource guide with key wildfire and insurance recommendations for Colorado homeowners," said Colorado Association of Realtors Project Wildfire Chair Mike Budd, a Vail Realtor who has been instrumental in driving access and information about programs and resources in Wildland Urban Interface communities throughout the state.

As Fire Prevention Week approaches (Sunday, Oct. 7, through Saturday, Oct. 13) there is still significant risk of further property loss as dry conditions continue statewide. The 2018 Colorado wildfire season is already the second most destructive on record, behind 2002, with approximately 500,000 acres of forest and grassland destroyed and hundreds of homes lost or damaged, according to the Rocky Mountain Coordination Center.

"Unfortunately, Colorado ranks third in the nation for homes located in areas with high wildfire risk," said Carole Walker, Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association executive director.

"As an industry, we understand the importance of insurability of these properties and are working with residents and other stakeholders to be a part of the solution to reduce that risk — a solution that we believe is founded in education, awareness and mitigation efforts by individual property owners and communities alike."

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Wildfire officials and organizations across Colorado recommend taking steps to reduce wildfire risk and credit homeowner mitigation efforts with saving homes and structures over the past several years.

"Every homeowner should be aware of their wildfire risk and the associated responsibility to reduce that risk, not only to protect their property, but also to improve the safety of first responders," said Dan Beveridge, wildfire mitigation specialist for the Colorado State Forest Service.

"There are numerous examples from the 2018 fire season and seasons past showing that proactive wildfire mitigation efforts are effective, and taking risk-reduction actions can also improve insurability and support community adaptation to wildfire."

Production of the Colorado Property & Insurance Wildfire Preparedness Guide was funded through a grant from the Colorado Association of Realtors Foundation.

The Colorado Association of Realtors launched Colorado Project Wildfire in 2015 to help raise awareness of the increasing danger of wildfires in our state, to activate the association's network of 26,000 Realtors in providing information and support to homeowners living in high-risk areas and to advocate for incentives for homeowners who take concrete steps to make their properties less at risk.

Since its launch, Colorado Project Wildfire has established partnerships with like-minded fire-prevention organizations and assisted local Realtor associations throughout the state with complimentary programs to activate its members in promoting awareness and mitigation.

For more information, visit http://www.coloradoprojectwildfire.com.