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Protect your home: do you need wildfire insurance?

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Springs Fire Department is urging homeowners to learn their home's wildfire risk using the city's interactive wildfire mitigation map.

If you think your home may land in disaster's path, fire officials say you need to get some sort of wildfire coverage wrapped into your homeowner's insurance.

The process varies depending on your insurance provider.

Typically, an insurance company does an assessment of your home to identify any areas that may make it more susceptible to fire.

The homeowner can then contact the Colorado Springs' Wildfire Mitigation and receive assistance in creating a defensible around their home through the maintenance of vegetation on their property.

A report of the work done by the mitigation team can be given to the insurance provider if the homeowner chooses to do so.

Fire officials say they’ve seen coverage across the board in our region.

They say most homes impacted by the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire were insured; but that wasn’t the case during the Black Forest Fire.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department refers to that as an “uninsured fire”; where many homeowners lost their property and had no money to rebuild.

Fire officials say your home can fall victim to wildfire no matter the time of year.

"The wildfire season is a calendar year; January 1st to December 31st,” says Brett Lacey, Fire Marshall with the Colorado Springs Fire Department. "The most serious the Colorado Springs area suffered in its history was in 1850 and in 1951; and both of those fires happened in January.”

El Paso County is still under a burn ban.

Seasonal firefighters on the Colorado Springs Fire Department's Wildfire Mitigation team, which typically are employed for six months at a time, have been laid off.

If another wildfire was to break out, the department says they may not have enough resources to fight it.

Colorado Springs / Local News / Wildfires / Wildfires

Mia Villanueva

Mia is a weekday reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Mia here.

Comments

9 Comments

  1. NO…..We need the irresponsible people that started the fires to go back where they came from….cali…

  2. A study done by the state after the Black Forest fire found that a majority of the homes that burned down would not have done so if the owners had properly mitigated the risk around them.
    .
    And yet, people still don’t want to do it.

    1. Absolutely correct. But there’s also the fact that many of the homes in Black Forest are older, and the homeowners no longer have a mortgage. One of the main reasons people buy homeowners’ insurance in the first place is because it’s required by the lender, and many tend to let it lapse when it’s no longer “required.”

    2. I believe this was also exacerbated by the covenant regulations of not allowing people to clean up the 2″+ of dead pine needles, that were on the ground. So when the fire got under this debris, it made it harder to fight. Also the covenant wouldn’t allow proper fire mitigation for the residences, without being fined. I could be wrong, but if my memory serves me correctly, this was a major contributing factor to that fire.

      1. That’s interesting. Never having lived in Black Forest, I wasn’t aware of covenants there. But what you say certainly makes sense.

        1. Taken directly off the Black Forest Colorado website.

          “Northeast of Colorado Springs, Black Forest, Colorado, offers both treed acreage and open meadowland. Ideal for horse owners, it is characterized by mostly 5-acres or larger parcels of land in a rural setting. Encompassing some 200,000 acres, the area has a mix of neighborhoods ranging from those with no covenants to strict covenants.”

          Also, I meant 2′, not 2″.

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