The Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Coalition has released a report, “Lessons from Waldo Canyon” and companion video, “Creating Fire Adapted Communities: A Case Study from Colorado Springs and the Waldo Canyon Fire.” Both the video and report are available on the Fire Adapted Communities website.
In the wake of the June 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire that destroyed 345 homes and resulted in the evacuation of more than 30,000 residents from the City of Colorado Springs, CO; members of the Fire Adapted Communities Coalition visited the area to learn how the city’s decade-long wildfire safety programs had affected the outcome of the fire. The report and video are the result of interviews, field visits and tours of the city’s most affected neighborhoods during a three-day postfire visit in July 2012.
Pam Leschak, WUI/Fire Adapted Communities program manager for the USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management shared that, “To a large extent, the mitigation tools used by the Colorado Springs Fire Marshal’s Wildfire Mitigation Section for the past 10 years, mirror the recommendations of the Fire Adapted Communities program. The findings of the report conclude that damage as a result of the Waldo Canyon Fire would have been more wide-spread if these practices had not been implemented.”
With support from the U.S. Forest Service, the mitigation assessment team was comprised of representatives from the FAC Coalition including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), with invaluable assistance from CSFD’s Fire Marshal Brett Lacey and the department’s Wildfire Mitigation Section.
For more information about Fire Adapted Communities visit http://www.fireadapted.org/.