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FireWise - 2016 Defensible Space Cost Share Program

FireWise of Southwest Colorado

2016 Defensible Space Cost-Share Program 


FireWise of Southwest Colorado strives to keep lives, homes, and properties from being damaged by wildfires throughout Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan, Montezuma, and Dolores counties. We provide education, planning and implementation support to spark wildfire preparedness in the hearts of our neighbors.

FireWise of Southwest Colorado is offering communities with a Neighborhood Ambassador in La Plata (outside of Vallecito), Montezuma, and Dolores Counties the opportunity to apply for cost-share funding to assist homeowners with completing defensible space around homes and driveways to Colorado State Forest Service Zone 1 & 2 defensible space standards, generally extending 100 feet from the home and outbuildings. This opportunity is not for maintenance of previously treated areas or neighborhood projects. (Other landowner cost-share programs are available in Archuleta County and Vallecito.)

Applications will be accepted from Aug. 15 - Oct. 1, 2016 and again next spring. All work must be completed within 90 days of award.

The maximum grant award is $1,500 and requires a match equivalent to the award amount. At least 25% of the match must be cash. Applicants will not receive any reimbursement for their volunteer time above 75% of their match requirement, but all volunteer time should be tracked. Volunteer labor is valued at $25.96 per hour for this program. This grant will be awarded at a rate of 50%. A grant administration fee will be deducted from the award amount at a rate of 10% to figure your reimbursement.

Example 1: 
Mary Smith pays a contractor $700 to create defensible space around her home. Mary also spends 10 hours raking pine needles and trimming overgrown plants near her home. That 10 hours of Mary’s time is worth $259.60 (10 x $25.96) towards her pre-approved project (anything above $525 of volunteer value would not have counted toward total project value). The total project value is $959.60 for Mary, allowing for a $479.80 award ($959.6 x 50%).  FireWise will deduct a $47.98 ($479.80 x 10%) grant administration fee, and Mary's reimbursement will be $431.78 ($479.80 award – $47.98 grant administration fee).

Example 2:
Farmer John hires a mitigation contractor to do $1,500 worth of defensible space work around his home and barn. John puts in 60 hours of his own labor thinning trees for the equivalent of $1,557.60 (60 x $25.96). Only $1,125 of John’s volunteer value can be put toward his total project value, making the total project value $2,625 ($1,500 + $1,125 worth of volunteer hours). His award amount is $1,312.50 ($2,625 x 50%). FireWise will deduct a $131.25 ($1,312.50  x 10%) grant administration fee , and Farmer John will receive a check for $1,181.25 ($1,312.50 award – $131.25 grant fee).


  • This grant opportunity is open to private landowners with a residence in a community with a designated Neighborhood Ambassador in the FireWise program within La Plata (outside of Vallecito), Montezuma, or Dolores Counties.
  • Project proposal must be for fuels reductions recommended by the FireWise Coordinator in your County around a home or along a driveway in accordance with Colorado State Forest Service Wildfire-Defensible Zone 1 & 2 standards.
  • The project may be include hand thinning, mastication, or a combination.
  • All work must be completed within 90 days of award.


  1. Please read the requirements thoroughly.
  2. Contact your FireWise Coordinator (listed below) to schedule an assessment.
  3. Following your assessment, obtain work bids from at least two contractors. Make sure they are aware of what work is required based on the site assessment. The Colorado State Forest Service maintains a list of contractors. This is not an endorsement and you may use contractors that are not on this list; however, an invoice with name, address, and contact info for the contractor is required. The CSFS list is available at:  http://csfs.colostate.edu/media/sites/22/2015/08/CSFS-DD_ContractorDirec....
  4. Fill out the application, and include all required attachments.
  5. Electronic applications are preferred. Please include your community or subdivision name in the subject line and submit your application to:

Montezuma and Dolores Counties
Rebecca Samulski

La Plata County
Nell Jordan

Hard copy applications may be sent to:
FireWise of Southwest Colorado
PO Box 1125,
Dolores, CO 81323

FireWise of Southwest Colorado c/o SJMA,
PO Box 2261
Durango, CO  81302

Applications will be accepted until Oct 1, 2016 and again next spring. All work must be completed within 90 days of award.
Funded projects will receive an award letter detailing the award amount, which the applicant must sign and return acknowledging the award agreement. 

You must apply for the grant, have your County Coordinator approve the project, AND return the signed award letter before any work begins.

FireWise of Southwest Colorado 2016 Defensible Space Cost-Share Application


☐Map of the Project area.

☐At least two (2) contractor bids for your project with your desired contractor identified

☐At least three “Before” pictures of the proposed project area (preferably jpg files).                  

Note: “After” pictures of the same locations will be required upon project completion.

☐Homeowner or Property Owner’s Association Approval (if required by covenants)

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS (Upon Project Completion): 

  • ▪ Submit three (3) post-treatment pictures. 
  • ▪ Complete an in-kind tracking sheet documenting time spent coordinating/overseeing your project and completing additional requirements below. 
  • ▪ Remedy any home ignition zone hazards in accordance with property assessment recommendations (firewood piles, leaves and needles in gutters, tall weeds or grass around structures, combustible materials under decks, etc.).
  • ▪ Maintain your defensible space/ fuels reduction project and regularly address items above. 



Site Address

City, State, Zip


Mailing Address (if different)

Street or P.O. Box

City, State, Zip


Phone (1):

Phone (2):

Email address:

How many acres will be mitigated? ______

How many structures on your property will be protected?  ______

(Home, garage, barn, etc.)

How many residences are adjacent to your property? _____

Do you plan to count the value of volunteer time toward your required match?_____

Note: If your project is approved, you will receive a work log in order to document your time.


What, if any, volunteer work will be done?

Which contractor would you prefer to do the work?

Proposed start and finish dates.

Scope of Work: (In addition to the prescription marked by your coordinator, briefly describe any details regarding limb height, plans for removing slash, or other special considerations.) 


Figuring Your Project Cost and Reimbursement: 

A. Contractor Bid:

B. Volunteer time x $25.96/hour (≤50% of A Contractor Bid):

C. A Contractor Bid + B Volunteer Value = Total Project Value:

D. Award  = C Total Project Value x 50% (.50)

E. Grant Admin Fee = D Award x 10% (.10)

Total Reimbursement = D Award – E Grant Admin Fee


Electronic application packets are preferred


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