(GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS, Colo.) — According to Wildfirerisk.org, Green Mountain Falls, Colorado is one of the most vulnerable areas in Colorado, as well as the United States, for wildfires. The town has several mitigation projects underway to protect the town in the event of a wildfire.

“Green Mountain Falls is the number one community in the state of Colorado at risk for wildfires. We are in the 99th percentile, and very little can be saved at this point if our town has a canopy fire,” said David Douglas, chair of the Green Mountain Falls Fire Mitigation Advisory Committee. “Our committee has been working with grant funding from the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) over the last few years to mitigate 81 acres of town-owned land, but we’re not where we should be.”

Fire mitigation focuses on removing some, but not all the trees in an area.

Another project is a mitigation effort on 23 acres of forested land called the Red Butte Recreational Area to promote the health of the forest. The effort, funded by the Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation and CUSP, is reducing the fuel load by clearing undergrowth of the forest floor, thinning trees, and removing a substantial number of trees infected with Ips pine bark beetle and Douglas-fir beetles.

“We just mitigated 23 acres, which involved removing 1100 trees,” said Jesse Stroope, director of real estate for the Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation. “Sounds like a huge number of trees but once the fire mitigation team left the area, it didn’t make that big of a difference.”

Mayor Todd Dixon said the town of Green Mountain Falls has accomplished more fire mitigation activity in the last two years than in many previous years.

One area of mitigation includes the Red Butte Recreational area where 23 acres were mitigated.

“The Town has recently received an $82,200 grant to help continue fire mitigation efforts. This grant continues our partnership with the Mile High Youth Corp., which provides additional benefits of training youth,” said Dixon. “We’re very tickled to receive the grant. We just don’t have the financial resources to be able to.” But tens of thousands of dollars and mitigating you know our our town owned property.”

Dixon said the town will begin a new effort with CUSP to mitigate public property in town and collaborate with property owners for Town Right of Ways (RoWs) areas.

“The mitigation itself; trying to keep the fires down low and out of the canopy is key,” Dixon said. “If it gets into the canopy, my understanding from what I’ve been told, is that the valley acts like a chimney. And if we get something started then we will very likely end up with what I call a moonscape.”