Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Wildfire

Colorado is expecting another explosive wildfire year, but the state may be more prepared this time

Colorado wildfire experts are warning that conditions are setting up for wildfires as bad as last year, when the three largest forest fires on record burned for months. But this time, they think the state may be better prepared. Millions of dollars, multiple aircraft and coordinated partnerships between local, state and federal agencies are all […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Wildfire

2020’s wildfire season is historic, charring more acres than any year before. But Colorado has a complicated past with its forests.

In the 35 years that Mike Lester has worked as a forester, nothing compares to the East Troublesome fire’s behavior last week. Its 105,000-acre jump from Wednesday night into Thursday alone would classify as the fifth-largest wildfire in recorded state history; the fire as a whole is now the second-largest. “I’ve never heard of something […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Colorado wildfire season reinforces the need for mitigation and resiliency

Over 2,000 Colorado firefighters have been battling wildfires that have charred more than 430,000 acres since the beginning of the year. The Cameron Peak Fire overtook this summer’s Pine Gulch Fire as the largest in the state’s history, having burned over 200,000 acres of land thus far.  Unfortunately, wildfires of this magnitude are increasingly common. […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Energy, Environment, Growth, News, Wildfire

Colorado utilities fear wildfire risk — and liability — amid warming climate

As smoke from the California wildfires drifted eastward this summer, Holy Cross Energy CEO Bryan Hannegan had worries of his own in Colorado. In August, the hottest ever in Colorado, the Grizzly Creek fire growled and then charged several communities in the middle of his service territory that spans a 100-mile segment of Interstate 70 […]

Posted inEnvironment, Growth, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government, Wildfire

A Colorado dashboard seeks to put a price on future wildfires, other natural disasters amid a warming climate

As Colorado experiences a record-breaking wildfire season amid accelerating population growth and statewide drought, many are asking: How can we be resilient in the face of inevitable disaster? It’s a dense question. To find an answer, the Colorado Water Conservation Board teamed up with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and a handful […]

Posted inEnvironment, Outdoors, Water, Wildfire

Climate change is transforming Western forests. And that could have big consequences far beyond wildfires.

LA VETA — From her family’s summer cabin north of Walsenburg, Camille Stevens-Rumann could see the glow of the Spring Creek Fire on the ridge to the south in the summer of 2018. “It was pretty spectacular, my 4-year-old was excited,” she said This past June, Stevens-Rumann walked a burnt slope near the town of […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, News, Outdoors

Message scent: Douglas fir beetles detoured from Ouray forest by pheromone packets

These are not the trees you’re looking for. That’s the message sent by the scent wafting from Douglas fir trees on Ouray’s perimeter. The smell emanates from bubble packs stapled to the trees. The packs contain chemicals that mimic the pheromones pine beetles use to send messages to each other. This time, the message is […]

Posted inNews, Wildfire

Black Forest has rebuilt after the fire that gutted it. But is it at risk of being destroyed again?

BLACK FOREST — For more than five years after the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, Bill Mantia methodically cleared the charred skeleton of a forest from what once was his 20-acre parcel of paradise. Every day it went like this: Cut down a dead tree, saw it into smaller pieces, stack the wood, haul […]