Insurance company sent engines to protect homes at Fourmile fire

The Chubb insurance company, which specializes in policies for high-valued homes, dispatched fire engines to the Fourmile fire near Boulder, Colorado earlier this month. Due to a memorandum of understanding they signed with Boulder County earlier this year, the company was able to send engines directly to their policy holders’ homes after obtaining clearance through the Incident Command Post.

Customers of the company that have homes valued in excess of $1 million are eligible to sign up for the free service that will send privately owned fire engines to their homes if threatened by a wildfire. Chubb contracts with Wildfire Defense Systems out of Red Lodge, Montana, which provides crews for emergency fuel mitigation, zone sprinkler system setup, fuel break preparation and fire blocking gel application.

WDS owns Type 3, 4, and 6 wildland engines that are outfitted and inspected per Federal Best Value standards. According to their web site they also have access to a “network of established and qualified engine companies operating under WDS supervision”. Currently these services are offered to qualified policy holders in 13 western states.

The Fourmile fire, which destroyed 169 homes and caused an estimated $217 million in damages, was the first wildfire in Colorado at which insurance company engines worked alongside government-paid fire resources. The company was not completely successful at the fire, since of the 13 customer homes affected, 10 survived but 3 burned.

We have written about these services provided by Chubb previously, HERE and HERE. And, we have no association with them or WDS.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.