Updates to fire code proposed following Waldo Canyon Wildfire

Blog Post created by cathyprudhomme Employee on Dec 12, 2012

Image1  R. Sangosti - The Denver Post 12/12/12

Almost six months after the June 26, Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, CO, the City Council gave preliminary approval yesterday to the first reading of the proposed update to the city's current fire code that will be applicable to rebuilds and new construction within the city's wildland/urban interface.  The vote was 6 to 1 with one abstaining from the vote.  The changes have been recommended as a process to improve safety conditions and reduce structure losses in future wildfires.  A final reading will take place January 8, 2013.  The new ordinance applies to both construction materials and surrounding vegetation.

Yesterday's vote follows the department's Division of the Fire Marshal hosting nine public meetings with more than 600 residents, over the past 90 days; along with coordination and collaboration with the local Home Builders Association, City Council and the Mayor. 

The Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed 345 homes and is the most destructive wildfire in the state's history.  The fire is responsible for two fatalities and the evacuation of more than 32,000 residents.  It's estimated that there are 36,485 residences in the city's wildland/urban interface.

In 2003, the city passed a Class A roofing ordinance that applies to the entire city for all new and replacement roofs and repairs greater than 25% of the total roof area.

The City of Colorado Springs has eleven communities that participate in the Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program.