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WindcliffWindcliff is a development of 155 properties, situated on 240 acres in Estes Park, Colorado approximately two hours north of Denver. It is bordered on two sides by Rocky Mountain National Park and on a third by the Roosevelt National Forest. The subdivision contains 50 acres of common community "green space" and the proximity of the national park and national forest along with its large population of trees constantly reminds residents of their common responsibility to protect this precious resource.

The community began formulating and carrying out a strong fire mitigation plan in 1997. It has partnered with the Town of Estes Park, Larimer County, the State of Colorado Forestry Service, Rocky Mountain National Park and the YMCA of the Rockies to undertake a proactive stance toward fire mitigation.

WindcliffIn order to encourage and educate property owners of the importance of being Firewise, a demonstration area of approximately five acres was limbed and thinned according to the Colorado State Forester's prescription. Property owners used this area as a benchmark for improving their property. Encouraged by the results, the Windcliff Board of Directors now budget approximately $10,000 annually for fire mitigation work and are committed to the program's continuance.

The community of Windcliff holds two cleanup days a year. Residents are encouraged to volunteer to help trim, thin and limb to reduce fuel within the "green space" area. Response to these days has been excellent and is seen as a way to not only reduce fuels within the community, but also as an opportunity to socialize and meet neighbors.

WindcliffA dumpster is made available to all residents, during the summer, to dispose of all slash related items.

The Larimer County Wildfire Safety Specialist conducted a wildfire hazard risk assessment of homes and lots. To date he has inspected approximately 75% of the homes and surrounding lots within the subdivision. And he has made suggestions for improving their chances should a wildfire occur. Every property that was inspected acted on the suggestions of the County.

The Fire Mitigation Committee has been fortunate to work with members of Larimer County and the State of Colorado. These representatives have helped Windcliff secure County and State grants to help defray many costs involved with cleanup efforts.

The Windcliff plan includes:

  • Continuous monitoring of all properties and working closely with the Architectural Control Committee to maintain a fire safe area around new construction.
  • Budget $50,000 for a large fuel reduction project on the mountain.
  • A 4th of July picnic that encourages property/homeowners to become Firewise.
  • Distribute annual mailings with Firewise tips and advice.
  • Continue to work with all agencies and encourage neighboring communities to be more proactive toward fire mitigation.