Emergency Preparedness & Wildfire Protection

The Forest Health Task Force, a group of citizens, forest managers, firefighters, public officials and representatives of outdoor organizations, has set up a great series of free evening informational meetings aimed at Summit County residents. The topics span the gamut from forest conditions and creating defensible space around your homes to what normal people can do to prepare in the event of a wildfire here.

Photo Credit: Bob Berwyn

Chopped down trees with mountains and a lake


The first meeting is Wednesday, February 6, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Frisco Community Center at 3rd Avenue and Granite Street.


  • Joel Cochran, Summit County Emergency Management Director, has a wide range of experience in emergency management planning at the state and county level. Joel has lived and worked in Summit County in public safety and emergency management positions for nearly 30 years. Joel is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) by the International Association of Emergency Managers and holds a graduate degree from the University of Colorado at Denver in Criminal Justice. Cochran will educate homeowners about how to prepare themselves and their families, their animals and prized possessions, their home and property. Emergency preparedness checklists will be on hand.
  • Lesley Hall, Director Summit County Animal Control and Shelter Hall will provide strategies to protect pets, horses, and livestock in case of wildfire. Lesley Hall has worked for SCAC for 24 years holding the positions of Animal Control Officer, Animal Control Supervisor, and Director. Lesley became interested in emergency planning involving animals in 2002 after attending the National Conference on Animals in Disaster. She has worked to develop a County Animal Response Team who are prepared to respond to local emergencies (specifically wildfires) involving pets and livestock. Lesley is a Colorado State Certified Animal Control Officer, Bureau of Animal Protection Agent, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Wyoming.


Topics covered will include:

  • Receiving emergency notifications
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Having a mindset to save your life even if that means losing your property
  • Adequate homeowners insurance
  • The impact of changed forest conditions on future fire risk and intensity
  • How future wildfire conditions might change emergency preparedness


Mark your calendars for the following dates, as well:

  • March 20th to Defensible Space
  • April 24th to Understanding Wildfire Risk
  • May 15th to Where to Build, Buy, and Live
  • June 19th (tentative date) - Preparing Essential Infrastructure and Services
  • July 17th (tentative date) - After the Fire - Implications of a Radically Changed Environment
  • August 21st (tentative date) - Real Life Homeowner Wildfire Experiences


The Forest Health Task Force is a program of The Greenlands Reserve. For questions, please email Howard Hallman or call 719-491-1807.

For more information, please see Summit Pine Beetle.