The Colorado State Forest Service, (CSFS), La Junta District is home to two National Historic sites that are pilots for demonstrating wildfire preparedness for the public.
Bent's Old Fort, a National Park Service Historic Site, was built in 1833 as a place for trade between Indians and trappers and later became a key staging area for the U.S. Army's march on Mexico in 1846. The Sand Creek Massacre Historic Site represents some of the less positive aspects of our history with native tribes since that event in 1864. But today, these two places have become points of education on not only history, but also, wildfire preparedness.
In partnership with NFPA, CSFS is one of 5 pilot states for Firewise Education Sites. These are places where significant wildfire risk reduction activities are taking place, but lacking full time residents, do not qualify for recognition in NFPA's Firewise USA program. The states asked NFPA to help them come up with a way that these sites could be showcased without the formal recognition. Each state in the pilot program manages the work in the sites and ensures that they meet the wildfire risk reduction concepts found in the Firewise USA program.
Firewise State Liaison, Courtney Peterson of CSFS led the partnership between the National Park Service, CSFS, and local volunteers to get the wildfire mitigation work completed and education signage and materials developed. The sites and the materials are designed to demonstrate what individuals can do to make their homes more ignition resistant to wildfires. For more information see here and here.