The City of Boulder has formed a working group to address the potential wildfire impacts of junipers in residential areas and city-owned spaces.

The City of Boulder has created a working group to address the potential wildfire impacts of juniper bushes, shrubs and trees in the city and surrounding areas. The working group includes staff from Parks and Recreation, Open Space Mountain Parks, Climate Initiatives, Boulder Fire-Rescue, Utilities, and Communications and Engagement departments.

Currently, many types of junipers exist on residential properties, city property, city parks, and open spaces. According to Boulder Fire-Rescue Fire Marshall David Lowrey, a participating member of the recently formed working group, “The fire risk from junipers depends on the type of juniper, location and maintenance of the plant. We want to identify the areas where junipers pose a potential hazard and create a plan to mitigate the risks they pose wherever possible."

The citywide working group is reviewing juniper density near critical infrastructure and in areas where they could present a higher risk for fire spread near residential communities. “We are excited to be working together towards citywide solutions in priority areas,” said Brett Kencairn, Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Initiatives.

The working group expects to have a communications strategy and recommendations to present to the Wildfire Executive Team later this year. Concurrently, the city is conducting a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and recommendations regarding junipers will be considered alongside overall recommendations for improved wildfire safety.