Programs planned to help you protect your home from wildfire | News
DENVER — Firefighters battled two big, destructive and deadly wildfires in Colorado this summer.
The Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs and the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins in Larimer County.
Those fires killed three people, destroyed more than 600 homes and caused $450 million damage.
Now there’s a new effort to make sure your home stays safe.
Part of the challenge is to pull together all the local and state agencies along with homeowners to work toward the common goal of minimizing the dangers.
Because the fear is these wildfire are only going to get worse.
“Colorado has the second highest number of homes rated at very high risk for wildfire damage,” says Colorado Insurance Commissioner Jim Riesberg.
It’s called the Urban Wildland Interface. Areas like Lower North Fork where two dozen homes burned and three people died before the summer even started. It’s where a growing number of people choose to buy homes.
“There’s a significant amount that live in those areas and that number is going to continue to grow substantially over the next 20 years,” says Colorado State Forester Joe Duda.
So the organization Colorado Rebuilds Fire Adapted Communities” aims to bring together agencies, resources and individual homeowners to learn how to save homes.
81 percent made it through the Waldo Canyon Fire, where 391 houses were damaged or destroyed.
“It could have been a lot worse…I mean thousands of homes could have been lost,” says Colorado Springs Fire Marshal Brett Lacey.
They’re offering fire mitigation seminars on ways to remove fire fuels and other risk factors around properties.
With record heat and drought the danger is expected to grow.
“The problem’s not going to go away on its own,” says Paul Cooke of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention Control. “We need to work together with the communities to address that.”
The first of those fire mitigation seminars will be held this Saturday and Sunday at Lowes stores in Littleton and Fort Collins. They’ll happen Saturday and Sunday September 22 and 23 in Colorado Springs.
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