Gunnison County, Colorado

Located in the middle of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Gunnison County is known for its natural amenities and recreational opportunities. Drawn by the forests, open space, and scenery, people have increasingly moved to the county’s more rural areas and its wildland-urban interface (WUI). Development is particularly being driven by second home ownership and retirees, with 68% of the homes located in the WUI now considered second homes.

Concerned by recent development trends favoring Gunnison County’s wildfire-prone areas, the county is interested in exploring new regulations and codes to help reduce wildfire risk. Gunnison County worked with the CPAW team in 2019 to understand, identify, and prioritize wildfire hazards and community vulnerabilities. Among CPAW’s final recommendations for Gunnison County are to implement at WUI risk assessment program, adopt the WUI code, and leverage existing plans to support wildfire hazard.


  • 2019 CPAW Community
  • Population (2016): 16,408
  • Growth Rate (2000-2016): 17%
  • Fuel Type: Sagebrush, ponderosa pine/lodgepole pine/Douglas-fir