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Surrey Ridge fire mitigation

Article and photo by Patte Smith

South Metro Fire Rescue Risk Reduction Specialist Einar Jensen talks with a group of Surrey Ridge homeowners about fire mitigation. Answering questions, Jensen frankly explained the importance of taking preventative action.

In early March, South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) Risk Reduction Specialist Einar Jensen chatted with concerned Surrey Ridge homeowners about reducing the chance of homes burning in the case of a wildfire and reviewing the importance of proper fire mitigation.

Surrey Ridge, like many other communities in Douglas County, is home to landscapes that are rich with Gambel (scrub) oak and prairie grass. Many properties also include other planted trees and bushes – all which can turn into kindling should a wildfire ignite. Here are a few key fire mitigation tips homeowners reviewed:

  • Gambel oak should be 30 feet away from homes and outbuildings, and the smaller branches from the ground up to 6 feet should be removed. This reduces the chance of fire in the canopy of the oaks. Surrey Ridge and other areas have used goats to “trim” the branches and vegetation.
  • Remove juniper trees and bushes that are closer than 30 feet to homes or outbuildings. Junipers are highly flammable.
  • Ladder fuels like bushes, plants, weeds, and other plants under trees should be removed. This applies to areas under pine trees and deciduous trees.
  • Rake up pine needles.
  • Many homeowners have wood mulch, but using pea gravel or decorative rock is best in mitigating fire.
  • Remove leaves from gutters and away from foundations.

Jensen encouraged attendees to learn about the new wildfire mitigation measures subtraction for individuals, estates and trusts on the Colorado income tax return.

“It is also extremely important that everyone have a back-up plan in case of an evacuation,” stressed Jensen, “not only for family members, but for horses, donkeys, and other pets.”

“If you haven’t signed up for CodeRED, do it,” Jensen emphatically stated. “You will receive critical information during emergencies – communities need to know what is going on.”

For fire emergency and mitigation information, visit To sign up for CodeRED, visit http://crgov.

South Metro Fire Rescue risk reduction presentations
Specialist Einar Jensen will present wildfire safety via a virtual Wildfire Safety Series: Know your Local Ecosystem on Monday, April 4 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Email to receive the virtual meeting link.

On Monday, April 25, Jensen will present the Wildfire Safety Series: More Mitigation Ideas at Douglas County Libraries – Castle Pines from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

To learn more, visit



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