According to a recent Bloomberg News article, “Colorado’s Fire Danger Grows as Residents Occupy High-Risk Areas,” almost 40 percent of new homes in the U.S. in the past decade were built in the “wildland-urban interface” (WUI) or residential communities bordering forests or grass lands. The article further explains how “fires in these zones are often ignited by people using chain saws, firing guns or driving cars that backfire, contributing to the increase in the number, intensity and average size of blazes and multiplying losses.”
It’s easy to believe, with all the bad news we hear about wildfire damage and losses, there’s nothing we as residents can do to help combat this problem. But Michele Steinberg, who was interviewed for this article about the Firewise Communities Program, says homeowners living in the WUI can actually do a lot to reduce their wildfire risk by preparing homes and communities ahead of a wildfire. To illustrate this point, in the article, firefighters on the Waldo Canyon blaze credited 10 years of work to enact Firewise policies in neighborhoods in and around Colorado Springs, as well as an ordinance that requires new homes be built with non-flammable roofs, with saving many residences.
Now that’s good news!
We encourage you to read the full article. But don’t stop there. Learn more about your role and the steps you can take in reducing wildfire risk around your home by visiting the Firewise website and in your community by checking out the Fire Adapted Communities website.