GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – A veteran-run nonprofit will be spending six weeks in Grand County neighborhoods, making people’s homes more wildfire resistant.
In October of 2020, the East Troublesome Fire burned more than 193,000 acres in Grand County, destroying and damaging more than 365 buildings and 210 outbuildings.
This year, Team Rubicon has been working to lessen the impact of future wildfires by using a $200,000 American Red Cross grant to launch a wildfire mitigation operation in the county that will last through July 11.
They have been assessing the five feet surrounding 150 homes in addition to creating defensible spaces around those residences. They plan to complete this process in multiple neighborhoods.
“We help people on their worst day, and on this operation, we’re trying to help people before their worst day happens,” Team Rubicon Incident Commander Duane Poslusny said. “This is our biggest fire mitigation operation to date. We usually serve about a weekend, this will be six weeks total and we’re having people fly in from all over the country.”
Poslusny told FOX31 that before serving his country with Team Rubicon he served in Iraq with the army. He said the work he’s doing to save people’s homes in Colorado is meaningful and therapeutic to him too.
“Over there, I was in the bomb squad,” Poslusny said. “It helps us a lot, veterans, to be able to serve our communities and bring the skills that we learned from war and have that be more impactful in a more peaceful and pleasant way.”
Going forward, community members can help by volunteering on Saturdays by signing up online.
Local fire departments, Grand County Emergency Management and Grand County Wildfire Council have partnered with Team Rubicon.