KEY PARTNERS: La Plata County, Durango Fire Protection District, Wildfire Adapted Partnership, Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), Mountain Studies Institute, Bureau of Land Management, San Juan National Forest, Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, La Plata Electric Association

Within the Florida Watershed, 115 acres of private land defensible space and fuels reduction work were completed, and two water quality monitoring stations were installed on the Florida River in 2023. Wildfire and Watershed Protection Fund (WWPF) and Wildfire Adapted Partnership completed home wildfire risk assessments, developed the scope of work, inspected treatments, and provided subsidized funding for private land treatments. Within the landscape, 17 acres of county land was mitigated and fuel clearing occurred along eight miles of county right-of-way. The Bureau of Land Management contributed to fuel reduction in the project area by masticating and pile burning 40 acres adjacent to WUI.

Local contractors, Durango Fire Protection District, Upper Pine Fire Protection District, and the Southwest Youth Conservation Corps completed the fuels mitigation work. These treatments balance mitigation and privacy objectives by breaking up fuel continuity while retaining pockets of vegetation for aesthetics and ecosystem function.

In addition to the grants described above, La Plata County received a COSWAP workforce grant for 10 weeks of State Wildland Inmate Fire Team (SWIFT) to complete fuel mitigation within the county roads right-of-way. In 2023, 25 miles of county roads were mitigated in six weeks by SWIFT crews.