Tips for living in areas at risk for wildfire

By Saul Rosenthal

Special to The PREVIEW

Q: What are some tips for people living in areas of Colorado at high risk for wildfires?

A: It is certainly a privilege to live in a state that boasts so many wooded and forested areas in which to live and enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities. As more people build homes in or near what are called wildland-urban interface areas (WUIs), concerns about damage to those properties from wildfires increases.

Over the past two decades, frequent, large, destructive wildfires in Colorado have claimed hundreds of thousands of acres of land, damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and structures and displaced residents from their homes for extended periods of time.

With continued development throughout the state’s WUI areas, estimated to grow by 300 percent in the next 15 years, the wildfire threat is real and it is not going away.

And it isn’t only the people living in the WUI areas that are affected. Denver residents remember vividly the smoke and haze that came from the Hayman in 2002, and other Front Range residents have been affected more recently by the High Park (Ft. Collins area) and Black Forest (Colorado Springs) fires. Recently, many parts of Colorado were affected by smoke coming from wildfires in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

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