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On May 12, 2023, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed bill SB23-166 that establishes a Wildfire Resiliency Code Board to adopt a statewide minimum code for fire-resistant construction and defensible space in Colorado’s wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas. SB23-166 was one of the 11 wildfire-related bills Governor Polis signed into law showcasing the state’s leadership in reducing risk for people and property in Colorado’s WUI areas.
The 21-member Wildfire Resiliency Code Board will be appointed by September 2023 and must adopt initial rules, based on best practice approaches such as the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC), by July 1, 2025. In addition to adopting wildfire codes and standards, the Wildfire Resiliency Code Board is charged with defining the WUI and identifying the areas of Colorado that are included within it.
“The International Code Council fully supports the creation of Colorado’s Wildfire Resiliency Code Board. We are proud to have participated in the process spearheaded by Colorado State Senator Lisa Cutter, members of the Colorado Fire Commission, and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control that led to the signing of this bill,” said Karl Fippinger, Code Council Vice president of fire and disaster mitigation. “We look forward to partnering with the Wildfire Resiliency Code Board as it considers best practices and model codes, such as the IWUIC, for adoption as part of its minimum statewide wildfire code.”
The Code Board will be comprised of Colorado residents representing building code professionals, the Colorado fire service, residential and commercial builders, land use professionals, hazard mitigation professionals, local government representatives, insurance professionals, building trades, and utilities. The board will also include three ex officio members, including the Director of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, the Colorado State Forester, and the Director of the Colorado Resiliency Office.
The signing of SB23-166 and Colorado’s other wildfire-related bills comes on the heels of the December 2021 Marshall Fire in Boulder County, Colorado that burned over 6,000 acres over three days, killing two people and destroying more than 1,000 homes. The Marshall Fire is the most destructive fire in Colorado history in terms of buildings destroyed.
Find out more about fire-resistant construction, defensible space, and the IWUIC here.