Eagle County recognized with national Wildfire Mitigation Awards

Eagle County recognized with national Wildfire Mitigation Awards

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Eagle County recognized with national Wildfire Mitigation Awards

Birch Barron
Director of Emergency Management

Feb. 28, 2023 - Eagle Valley Wildland (EVW) and Fire Mitigation Specialist, Eric Lovgren, were chosen to receive the 2023 Wildfire Mitigation Awards–EVW won the organization award, and Lovgren was recognized individually due to his innovation and leadership in wildfire mitigation.

“It’s an honor for Eagle County to receive national recognition in the field of wildfire mitigation,” said,” Director of Emergency Management Birch Barron. “Eric’s dedication and innovation extend beyond Eagle County to the entire state through Fire Adapted Colorado, of which he is a founding board member and current chairperson. He continues to innovate and inspire others to envision even better systems and programs for wildfire mitigation.”

Eagle Valley Wildland (EVW) represents an ambitious partnership between Greater Eagle Fire, Gypsum Fire, Eagle River Fire, and Eagle County to coordinate and collaborate on wildfire mitigation efforts. As a result of this partnership, EVW tripled the number of acres of fuel reduction treatments in the county. EVW worked with community members to reduce wildfire risk on private land through property assessments and home-hardening projects. Over the past two years, more than 100 individual property owners and 25 HOA's have implemented risk reduction work. EVW also established a Neighborhood Ambassador Program to promote community wildfire adaptation at a local level. The program now has 15 Neighborhood Ambassadors working in a volunteer capacity with EVW staff to implement chipping days, fuel breaks, and educational events within their respective communities.

Lovgren expanded Eagle County’s wildfire mitigation efforts from a building enforcement role to an Emergency Management role. He helped design and launch REALFire, a voluntary home assessment program led by realtors and the Community Wildfire Planning Center. Lovgren not only conducted 423 private property assessments, but also trained other assessors to broaden the scope of the program. His work has statewide influence through Fire Adapted Colorado.

The Wildfire Mitigation Awards program was established in 2014 by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the USDA Forest Service to help demonstrate the tremendous societal value wildfire mitigation efforts provide.

Take action to reduce wildfire risk. Visit RealFire.net and sign up for a free property assessment.
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