Fire Mitigation Efforts In Rural Subdivisions Praised

Rick Langenberg

Remain fire-wise, vigilant and watch over your neighbors.


That was the advice provided by Teller County Commission Vice-Chairman Dan Williams during last week’s regular session.  Williams praised the work of neighborhood groups in rural parts of Teller in addressing fire mitigation efforts and other potentially hazard  situations, and heavily defended their actions.


Some critics have contended that these groups are acting in a vigilante way, and are getting out of hand. But Williams disagrees with these claims.  “People are doing their mitigation. These are not big vigilantes (out there), but they are doing the neighborhood things we have to do.”


He was referring to actions taken by subdivision groups to observe needed fire mitigation and problem areas in their community. This has been a big goal of the county’s overall campaign to grapple with fire dangers. Teller and much of the Ute Pass is considered to be part of an at-risk region for wildfires.

And with tourism taking a big upwardly turn in Teller County, the commissioner noted that residents need to remain vigilant even more.  He noted that Teller could become a hot spot for visitors. “It’s s a safe place to be,” said Williams.


But on the downside, Williams expressed a concern about a surge of criminal activity in subdivisions and reported a few troubling cases.  “We need to pay attention  to crime in our subdivisions,” said the commissioner.


As a result, he stressed the importance of neighbors watching over each other and remaining vigilant.

This concern extends to future fire alerts Despite a recent surge of rain and with  no burn and fire restrictions for the first time in the last few years, Teller County is still being placed on an alert status.  This message was relayed last week by the county’s office of emergency management in releasing a new report, outlining how much the state can pay for a major fire disaster and the type of relief to expect


For much of 2021, our region have been spared any  major fire outbreaks, but this “no disaster” trend hasn’t occurred throughout certain sections of Colorado, where major fires have ignited quickly.


Although the moisture levels have greatly improved in our region with much greener grass than past summers, these conditions can change fast, as noted in the recent report. Becky  Frank, who works with the office of emergency management, stressed  one stark warning:  “It (current fire conditions) will change quickly.”


As a result, the office is repeating the same assertion it has made previously: Don’t let your guard down  and don’t complain about more rain. In fact, that could be a welcoming sight.


At least for now, Teller residents don’t have to worry about burn restrictions, according to agency representatives, but this scenario can change fast.


In other commission reports, Williams cited the dedication of a new Memorial Wall for veterans of World War II in Victor.  This project  has been praised by community leaders throughout Teller. Williams  also cited the grand opening of the new Wildwood casino hotel which occurred on July 14. This is expected to help set the stage for the town’s emergence as more of a destination area.


Commissioner Erik Stone also told his peers and the press that major improvements are expected on Hwy. 25 that could have a positive impact for the region.