The Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Coalition has announced the release of a new report, “Lessons from Waldo Canyon” and a companion video, “Creating Fire Adapted Communities: A Case Study from Colorado Springs and the Waldo Canyon Fire.” The post-fire field report and video are a first from the FAC coalition.
In the wake of last summer’s tragic Waldo Canyon Fire which destroyed 345 homes and resulted in the evacuation of more than 30,000 residents from the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado, members of the Fire Adapted Communities Coalition visited the area to learn how the city’s decade-long wildfire safety programs had affected the outcome of the fire. The final report and video are the result of interviews, field visits and tours of the city’s most affected neighborhoods conducted by the Coalition’s assessment team during the three-day visit to the area in July 2012.
With support from the U.S. Forest Service, the mitigation assessment team, comprised of representatives from the Coalition including the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), worked closely with the Colorado Springs Fire Marshal's Wildfire Mitigation Section and the Colorado State Forest Service.
According to Pam Leschak, WUI/Fire Adapted Communities program manager for the USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management, “The mitigation tools used by the Colorado Springs Fire Marshal’s Wildfire Mitigation Section for the last 10 years mirrored, to a large extent, the recommendations of the Fire Adapted Communities program. The findings of the report conclude that the damage to the city as a result of the Waldo Canyon Fire would have been far more wide-spread if these practices weren’t put into place.”
Learn more about Fire Adapted Communities, the Coalition and the programs and resources it offers by visiting the website at www.fireadapted.org.
Additional information about the "Lessons from Waldo Canyon" report are available by contacting IBHS.