FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– The Colorado State Forest Service is reminding landowners that there’s no better time than now to prepare homes for wildfire with Colorado’s snowpack at 65 percent of average.

“Sometimes the best defense is a good offense,” said Mike Lester, state forester and director of the Colorado State Forest Service. “Long before a fire arrives, landowners should be taking pre-emptive actions to reduce wildfire potential.”

The Colorado State Forest Service offers free guides for protecting property from wildfire, including those that cover FireWise building construction and tips for protecting homes by maintaining wildfire-defensible zones.

“Homeowners and communities bear the ultimate responsibility to help protect themselves and their property from the threat of wildfire,” said Courtney Peterson, Colorado’s wildfire mitigation education coordinator. “Taking simple steps now can help make homes more defensible and help protect residents and firefighters.”

Peterson said some of the critical concerns to reduce the risks presented by early season, wind-driven wildfires including cutting and removing dead grasses and weeds; raking up thick beds of pine needles; and keeping gutters, decks and roofs free of pine needles and other combustibles.

State publications, guidelines and other information on wildfire mitigation and developing CWPPs are available at CSFS district offices or online at http://csfs.colostate.edu/wildfire-mitigation/.

Wildfire Resources

– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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