Wildfire protection for your home starts with the home itself.Research over the past 20 years has shown that the structure itself and the landscaping in the first 30 feet around it make the most difference in home survivability. The single most important factor in home construction is the roof covering material.Study after study has shown that homes with untreated wood roofs, such as cedar shakes, are at the highest risk for loss.Embers that are generated in a wildfire can fly more than a half mile from the fire and start vegetation and structures on fire well in front of the main fire. Since the roof is the largest horizontal surface on the home this is the area where most of the embers will land.Untreated shake roofs are the highest risk for catching fire from these embers.
In 2007 Vail Town Council adopted an ordinance banning the installation of new wood shake or shingle roofs within the town.In 2016 Town Council revised the ordinance to further encourage residents to switch old wood roof coverings for more fire resistant roof covering.All new construction and roof renovations within the Town of Vail must install a Class A rated roof.Class A rated roof coverings are the most resistant to catching fire and spread fire the slowest.
Besides the roof covering on the home there are many things both big and small that a home owner can do to make the home more ignition resistant.Small maintenance items such as cleaning gutters and cleaning out beneath steps and decks make big differences when it comes to wildfire.VFES is available year round to help citizens identify what they can do to improve the ignition resistance of their homes.
State Forest Service Guide
Wood Roof Ordinance
IBHS video link