Gov. Hickenlooper’s Wildfire Insurance and Forest Health Task Force released its recommendations in a final report issued Sept. 30. The report includes a number of recommendations, including the need to rate properties based on the level of wildfire risk. This would be accomplished by the creation of maps showing wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas.
According to the Task Force, “At the center of the recommendations is the core recognition of the need to focus on the responsibility of individual homeowners in the WUI.” This means that homeowners should bear the responsibility for wildfire mitigation on their properties by paying a fee, which would be assessed by the state and allocated to counties to support mitigation efforts. The Task Force also recommends adding a disclosure to real estate contracts for properties within the WUI.
Some of the report’s recommendations can be implemented by the State and some would require legislative action. The Task Force acknowledges that its suggestions will be costly (the creation of the WUI maps for instance) and difficult to implement. Now it will be up to the Governor to decide what he wants to do with the report, although he has already said that the concept of a statewide building code for properties in the WUI is not something he supports.