The U.S. Air Force Academy located in Colorado Springs, CO has become the first military installation to complete the required Firewise Communities/USA criteria for their base housing units; and NFPA welcomes them to the national program.
Fuels in proximity to the base housing areas have been reduced and work continues around individual residences; and also at the historic Cadet Lodge and Scout Huts - which are favorite meeting places for cadets, staff and Boy Scout troops. To highlight the base’s accomplishment, a community event was recently held at Fire Station One, where the Colorado State Forest Service and NFPA presented Colonel Ohlson with their official program street signage and plaque. Diane Strohm and James Donahey with the USAF Natural Resources Department, spearheaded the effort to become a Firewise Community and throughout the process they received invaluable collaborative contributions from Fire Chief Ken Helgerson and his staff, along with U.S. Fish and Wildlife employees. Each group played a significant role in their fuels management activities.
The Academy has been reducing fuels on their property for more than a decade and continue to work on creating a fire resilient military community. Fuel breaks have been added along roads, bridges and boundaries and forests have been thinned to increase their survivability in the event of a wildfire.
As a trailblazer, the Academy has received the honor of being the first military installation to become a Firewise participant and we’re excited to see other military bases follow their lead.