Posted inMarshall Fire

Colorado doesn’t have a statewide fire-resistant construction requirement. In the Marshall fire’s wake, critics say it’s time.

Foundations are all that’s left of the Sagamore neighborhood in Superior after the Marshall Fire tore through the development last month. Every home in the development was destroyed in the fire. (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun) In the Boulder County foothills, people building homes must follow a checklist of requirements meant to keep […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, News, Wildfire

“The only piece of their life that’s normal”: Schools are scrambling to help 800 kids displaced by the Marshall fire

After the Marshall fire tore through Boulder County on Dec. 30, razing more than 1,000 homes in its path, the count of students without stable housing in Boulder Valley School District swelled from about 300 to more than 1,100. Figuring out how to keep their children attending classes wasn’t necessarily the first priority for families […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Outdoors, Wildfire

As people are increasingly drawn outdoors, the risk of wildfires is rising

In July 2020, Seth Zachek was volunteering at a wildly popular trail in the San Juan mountains just outside of Silverton. The goal: teaching hikers how to tread lightly in the Ice Lakes Basin, a pristine wonderland high in the range. The irony wasn’t lost on Zachek when volunteers discovered a plume of smoke and […]

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

Colorado competes with other states for wildfire-fighting aircraft. Climate change makes that a big problem.

When wildfires swept across Colorado and the western U.S. last summer and fall, water- and retardant-dropping airplanes and helicopters that can make the difference between a small blaze and a deadly megafire were difficult to come by.  States were suddenly pitted against each other as federal emergency managers worked to determine who needed the most […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Wildfire

Snow and cold temps slow down Cameron Peak fire, downgrade evacuations — if only for a few days

Up to 16 inches of snow is falling Tuesday on the massive Cameron Peak fire west of Fort Collins, slowing its growth and offering much-needed respite to crews managing the blaze that tripled in size over the weekend. It’s not the biggest wildfire currently burning — that title goes to the Pine Gulch fire, which […]

Posted inEnvironment, News

Authorities lift evacuations prompted by wildfire near Evergreen after rainstorm douses burn area

Residents of about 1,000 houses in Evergeen were allowed to return home on Tuesday night after authorities announced they had turned the corner on a wildfire that was raging a day before. Rain soaked the Elephant Butte Fire burn area for a second straight evening, prompting the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to lift its evacuation […]

Posted inCOVID, Environment, News

How will America keep wildfire crews safe from coronavirus during what’s expected to be a tough season of blazes?

By Rebecca Boone, The Associated Press BOISE, Idaho — In new plans that offer a national reimagining of how to fight wildfires amid the risk of the coronavirus spreading through crews, it’s not clear how officials will get the testing and equipment needed to keep firefighters safe in what’s expected to be a difficult fire […]

Posted inColoradans, Environment, News

“Flood buddies” and sandbags: Southern Colorado readies for rain after last summer’s massive fire

Southern Colorado residents who watched the Spring Creek Fire sweep across the Sangre de Cristo Mountains last summer now look worriedly at the more than 108,000 acres of charred land. This year, they vigilantly watch for rain clouds. Even a quarter inch of rain pouring onto those devastated slopes could bring a new disaster to […]