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Majors Ranch goes Firewise

HUERFANO — On April 5, Majors Ranch celebrated achieving Firewise Community/USA status with a Community Firewise day. Fifty ranch residents spent the afternoon learning more about fire mitigation. The featured speaker was CK Morey of Colorado State Forest service (CSFS) who spoke on “Lessons Learned from the East Peak Fire.” Residents also heard from contractors such as Huerfano Hauling and Backhoe, H & H Forestry, RAI Enterprises, and Huerfano Weed Control. La Veta Fire Protection District (LVFPD) gets the credit for energizing Majors Ranch and other parts of Huerfano County. LVFPD has completed a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for their district and has sponsored six Firewise Communities. Majors Ranch is the only one outside their district so far. Paul Branson is the LVFPD District Liason for these programs and the district has a crew of men who are experts at creating defensible space around a home. Huerfano County is required by state mandate to develop a countywide CWPP, so that’s where we are all headed. Majors Ranch is a community of 23,000 acres north of Navajo Ranch and south of Highway 69. It is unique in that it borders all three county fire protection districts. While the area is predominantly in the pinon and juniper zone, the properties range from relatively flat, treeless prairie to land west of CR 520 and up the flanks of Silver Mountain. On Saturday, a crew of residents helped chip slash left from clearing trees and brush from CR 521 at a pinch point where the road curves after climbing a hill. The purpose was to insure that the road would be wide enough to be a safe evacuation route in case of fire. Residents then viewed examples of trees which had been limbed up and thinned to illustrate how to create defensible space on a property. Finally, residents went inside out of the rain and sleet to listen to the speakers A community earns Firewise status through several steps in collaboration with local fire districts and the local Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS). Mark Loveall, Assistant District Forester in the La Veta District of CSFS wrote a Community Risk Assessment for Majors Ranch and a multi-year action plan was developed from that document. The Firewise Community/USA designation is awarded by the National Fire Protection Association which focuses on local solutions for wildfire safety. For more information, contact Paul Branson at or take a look at the Firewise website at or the LVFPD website at