Site Assessment - How is your rating determined?

How is your property scored?

The tables below depict how a given property's overall risk rating is assessed. A printable PDF version of the Rapid Wildfire Risk Assessment Tool Scoring sheet can be found at the bottom of this section. You may want to print the score sheet prior to moving on to the Risk Assessment Map so it is possible to reference it while assessing a property.

In an effort to help community members better understand how they individually and as neighborhoods can reduce wildfire risk, Manitou Springs firefighters have conducted parcel level wildfire assessments of every occupancy within the city. To do this, firefighters used a standardized tool called Rapid Wildfire Assessment. This tool allows firefighters to quickly observe each occupancy from the street and make evaluations of risk factors to determine a properties overall wildfire risk rating.

Rapid Wildfire Risk Assessment Tool (PDF)

Wildfire Risk Rating

The Wildfire Risk Ratings were determined by assessing four categories that included: 

1. Access:

  • Is the occupancies address posted?
  • How many roads may be used for ingress and egress?
  • What is the width of the driveway?

2. Occupancy Characteristics:

  • What is the roofing material
  • What is the exterior/siding material?
  • Are there woodpiles and combustibles stored near the occupancy?
  • What are the fence/deck/porch materials attached to the occupancy?

3. Vegetation:

  • Predominant background fuel type in the neighborhood?
  • What is the defensible space around the occupancy?

4. Topography:

  • What is the degree of slope that the occupancy is built upon?
  • What is the distance to dangerous topography?

Each of these categories are assigned point values that when combined provide an overall risk rating that was used to develop a community wide Parcel Risk Assessment Map that citizens and business owners alike can use to to increase their individual, as well as neighborhood, awareness and understandings about potential wildfire risks and take actions to reduce to the communities overall wildfire risk. 

The Colorado State Forest Service Guide, "Protecting Your Home from Wildfire", can be a useful step to making our community fire adaptive through the creation of defensible environments.

Overall Risk Rating

Point Range Rating
25 - 150 Low
151 - 175 Moderate
176 - 270 High
271 - 365 Very High
366 - 665 Extreme


Structure Address Posted?
Easy identification of an address number is essential for emergency response, particularly at night. Having an easily visible and reflective address number is an easy and low cost method to prepare your home for any type of emergency.

Posted and Reflective 0
Posted, Not Reflective 5
Not Visible from Road 15
Ingress and Egress
In the event of a wildfire, homes with only one road in and out are a higher risk to residents and firefighters becoming trapped.

Two or More Roads In/Out 0
One Road In/Out 10
Width of Driveway/Roadway
A fire engine needs a minimum of twenty feet (20 ft.) to safely get in and out, but a greater width aids in the ease of access.

Greater than 24 Feet Wide 0
Between 20 - 24 Feet Wide 5
Less than 20 Feet Wide 10


Roofing Material
Materials used in roofing can significantly impact the survivability of a structure, as well as the speed and spread of the wildfire.

Tile, Metal, or Asphalt 0
Wood (Shake Shingle) 200
Building Exterior
Materials used on the exterior of a building or structure can significantly impact its survivability and has impacts on the speed and spread of the wildfire. 

Non-Combustible Siding (Stucco) 0
Log, Heavy Timbers 20
Wood, Vinyl, or Wood Shake 60
Location of Woodpiles and Combustibles
The distance of combustible materials to structures and buildings can impact the spread of the wildfire and, as a general rule of thumb, the greater the distance of combustible materials to structures and buildings, the less risk there is of spreading the fire to those structures.

None or Greater than 30 Feet from Structure 0
Between 10 - 30 Feet from Structure 10
Less than 10 Feet from Structure 30
Materials used in structures attached to or adjacent to buildings can increase or reduce the risk of the wildfire spreading to the building itself.

None 0
Non Combustible Deck/Fence Attached to Structure 20
Combustible Deck/Fence Attached to Structure 50

Vegetation & Topography

The slope of the surrounding terrain can significantly increase the rate of speed and spread of wildfires. The greater the slope, the higher the risk.

Less than 20% 0
Between 20% - 45% 20
Greater than 45% 40
Distance to Dangerous Topography
The distance of a structure to dangerous terrain can impact the evacuation of an area in an emergency.

Greater than 150 Feet 0
Between 50 - 150 Feet 30
Less than 50 Feet 75
Predominant Background Fuel Type
The vegetation (fire fuels) on and surrounding a property can impact the risk posed to structures on a property. The type, density, and health of the vegetation can significantly increase or decrease a property's risk. 

Light (Grasses, Forbs, Tundra) 25
Moderate (Light Brush, Small Trees) 50
Heavy (Dense Brush or Timber, Down and Dead Fuel) 75
Defensible Space (CSFS 6.302 Standards)
Defensible Space is defined as a natural and/or landscaped area around a structure that has been maintained and designed to reduce fire danger.

Greater than 150 Feet 0
Between 30 - 150 Feet 50
Between 10 - 30 Feet 75
Less than 10 Feet 100