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Neighbors get wise … firewise

By Patte Smith; additional information provided by South Metro Fire Rescue and Firewise Communities

Fire mitigation is an important step for everyone’s safety, and surrounding communities need to be aware of potential fire dangers and take precautions. This is not the responsibility of only a few residents, but the entire community.

Castle Pines Village resident Sharon James is one resident who has taken action to protect her property, and she encourages others to do the same. James said that after reading a story in The Castle Pines Connection last year, she contacted South Metro Fire Rescue and had them come do an assessment of her property. “The recommendations they made were wonderful and have made such a difference around my home,” said James. “I used to think fire mitigation meant cutting down all the trees around my house, but I have learned so much and now I know that is not the case.”

The Castle Pines community is rich with open space and properties with acreage, which may pose special challenges to firefighters. Becoming a Firewise Community can assist firefighters with some of those challenges when responding to our community. In 2009, the Pine Ridge neighborhood of Castle Pines worked to achieve its Firewise certification, proving even small neighborhoods can make an impact!

Unfortunately, the fact is that it is not IF a fire will happen, but WHEN it will happen. Here are some resources to encourage neighborhood communities to start discussing being firewise.

Check the Firewise Communities area of to learn how to talk to your neighbors about Firewise, and explore what it means to become a recognized Firewise Communities/USA site.

The Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program provides a simple template that neighborhoods can use to take action to protect homes from brush, grass and forest fires.

Visit the Firewise catalog for free products, including our “Getting Started with Firewise” kit. It contains sample publications, DVDs and discussion guides to help others learn about what it means to be fire wise.

Other valuable information can also be found at



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