About The Aspen Fire Department

Our Mission

To ensure the safety of citizens, visitors, and their property through education, prevention, and suppression while recognizing our fiscal responsibility to the citizens


The Aspen Fire Protection District serves 87 square miles in Pitkin County. It encompasses the Town of Aspen, and several unincorporated areas such as Woody Creek, Aspen Village, Brush Creek and Starwood.

The Aspen Fire District is staffed by a combination of career and volunteer members who are state certified to handle diverse emergency calls. The district is comprised of geographically different areas ranging from downtown Aspen to sparse residential and mountainous terrain with significant wildland-urban interface, each having different suppression and rescue requirements. Those requirements are met with a multi-faceted line of apparatus, equipment, and training.


Our Services

The Aspen Fire Protection District provides emergency and non-emergency services throughout Aspen, Colorado and the surrounding areas.

This includes 24-hour emergency response to a wide variety of critical situations, including structural, wildland, and urban interface fires, explosions, hazardous materials incidents, medical emergencies, accidents, auto extrication, swiftwater rescue, ice, low-angle rope, trench, confined space rescue, and miscellaneous public assistance requests. In addition, the fire department has the capability to respond to emergency medical needs, including basic life support.

The department also operates active fire prevention and emergency preparedness programs which provides for fire inspections, hazardous process permitting, burn permits, fire code enforcement, community education, and business emergency planning in accordance with Colorado laws.

Each year the Aspen Fire Protection District spends over 4,000 hours completing hands-on training activities, which build important practical skills and provide each firefighter with the abilities needed to quickly and correctly respond to all types of emergency situations.

Our History

“Put the Wet Stuff on the Red Stuff”

In 2004 the Aspen Fire Protection District produced this 48-minute documentary on the history of the Aspen Fire Department and it's evolution through the years.

The AFD traces its roots back to the silver boom days in Aspen. In 1881 the town devoted $200.00 to provide a fire department.

Written by Ben Gagnon, narrated by Jimmy Ibbotson, and produced by Darryl Grob, this film provides a glimpse into this extraordinary organization.

The documentary can be viewed only by clicking on the following link.

View documentary here.

DVDs are also available for purchase through the Fire District Office for $20.00 plus shipping. Contact (970) 925-5532 for information.

Aspen Firefighters Circa 1884

Letter From the Chief

Chief Balentine in front of the Aspen Fire Department

On behalf of the 43 dedicated men and women of The Aspen Fire Protection District that comprise the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department and career staff that serve not only the City of Aspen and Woody Creek but the entire 87 square miles that make up the District, I welcome you to visit Aspen Fire's web page.

Here you will find both statistical as well as anecdotal information regarding the long and proud history of the department.

The Aspen Fire Department is a full service fire department providing services ranging from fire suppression and prevention, swift water rescue, wild fire, hazardous materials mitigation, motor vehicle and aircraft accidents, technical rope rescue, as well as emergency medical and other emergencies that may require a quick and professional response of equipment and personnel to help mitigate any number of potential threats to life and property within the Aspen Fire District and beyond.

The Aspen Fire Department Operates from 4 strategically located stations which houses a total of 10 apparatus which include 4 structure engines, 2 wildfire engines, 2 rescue trucks, 1 water tender and our 104' ladder truck.

Since its formation in 1881, just about everything relating to firefighting tactics, equipment, protective gear and fire codes has changed. They have all made huge advancements that have helped to make today's modern Aspen Firefighter safer and more ready than ever to accomplish the motto adopted by the Aspen Fire Department so many decades ago: " We Strive to Save"

One thing that has not changed much in the past 135 years is that our community is still fortunate to be able to maintain a mostly all volunteer roster of, "boots on the ground", firefighting force. These dedicated men and women are selected from, the best of the best, community-minded individuals who mostly live and work within the district, in addition we also have, an elected 5 member board of directors, whom also volunteer their time to provide oversight of district policy and taxpayer dollars that, when all put together, insure the future success and continued high standards that the department is today while also honoring all those that came before us.
This model has proven to be extremely successful not only for the fire department but also very cost effective for our taxpayers, as Aspen has the lowest fire protection property tax mill levy in Colorado while also protecting the most property per volunteer firefighter, over $21.5 billion in property or an astounding average of about $500 million per individual.

Please feel free to call, email or visit me at the headquarters station, 420 E. Hopkins with any suggestions you may have that would make this website or your fire department better in the future.

Respectfully Yours in Service,
Chief Rick Balentine

Become a Volunteer

Interested in volunteering? Click the link below to learn more and apply!