In the aftermath of the Black Forest Fire in June of 2013 near Colorado Springs, which resulted in the loss of 488 homes, a local newspaper, The Gazette, ran a series of articles finding fault in the response by county commissioners who both tabled wildfire code adoption and relaxed existing structural fire code requirements following the Black Forest Fire. Local officials claimed they made the decision to relax requirements on residential sprinklers to help homeowners better afford rebuilding.
The “Wildfire Watch” column in the new January/February NFPA Journal looks at the issue of what happens in the aftermath of a wildfire and how, in many cases, communities are missing opportunities to learn from the lessons wildfire provides.
“The balance between long-term progressive change and the immediate need to make people and budgets whole again is real, but we cannot afford to miss the critical lessons we can use to help shape a workable wildland/urban interface (WUI) landscape, writes Lucian Deaton, who manages the Firewise Communities and Fire Adapted Communities programs at NFPA. “What is needed to meet the WUI threat today is the collective conviction to stand by comprehensive rebuilding plans that reflect those lessons, and balance redevelopment with the assurance of a resilient WUI future.”
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