NewsCovering Colorado


Fire danger is no longer a seasonal threat but a yearly one says, CSFD

Posted at 10:29 PM, Sep 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-27 00:29:23-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Fire Department is preparing for its final "Living with Wildfire" town hall meeting.

These meetings have given both firefighters and the community some education. The first town hall was in June and the last one is next week during the first week of October. The fall session is just as important as the first one because fire danger includes fall and winter. The end of summer is not the end of wildfire danger.

"It's a fire year, not a fire season. And just because the hot weather went away, everything that turned green is now brown, and it has a higher propensity to burn", warns Sunny Smaldino head of education and outreach for CSFD.

There are plenty of recent examples of the threat. The East Troublesome fire started in mid-October of 2020. It's the second largest wildfire ever in Colorado. The Bear Creek fire that threatened the skyway neighborhood a couple of years ago started in November. And the Marshal fire in Boulder County burned hundreds of homes. It started the last week of December 2020.

"I think that it's only when it's top of mind, it seems to be a concern for the community, which is unfortunate, we really want them to be top of mind all year round," said Smaldino, "I think one of the biggest things that stood out to all of us is people really didn't know the fire risk in the area they lived in. They didn't understand that they were in the wildland/urban interface, or they actually were not.".

The Colorado Springs Fire Department started a summer-long series of wildfire town halls in the spring. With 21 sessions so far the 22nd happens the first week of October. It's just as important as the first. Session leaders have learned locals often don't fully grasp the threat.

The final town hall adds a new element. Instruction on the new evacuation zone mapping that was just added to the city's safety plan.

"So we're really excited to be able to add that component to help people figure out how they find their zone, where they live, and what the risk is of where they're living when it comes to fire" added Smaldino.

The final Living with Wildfire town hall meeting is Wednesday October 5, 2020. It is scheduled 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the main auditorium at Cheyenne Mountain High School.

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