For three days, NFPA Journal accompanied members of the newly formed Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) coalition as they toured areas of Colorado Springs impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire, the costliest wildfire in Colorado history. The team's goal was to analyze the mitigation efforts initiated by the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) while assessing the damage--or lack thereof--in specific communities.
The FAC coalition, which includes staff members from NFPA and the U.S. Forest Service, plan to share their findings with the other 70,000 U.S. communities facing wildfire threats. Here's a snippet of the feature in the latest edition of NFPA Journal:
By many measures, Colorado Springs epitomizes the idea of fire-adapted — 13 communities within the city are recognized by NFPA’s Firewise® Communities Program, and other neighborhoods have embraced mitigation; efforts are underway to safeguard the city’s utilities from fire hazards; and mitigation saved an entire neighborhood from the devastation that occurred in Mountain Shadows. “Our loss was bad, and we can’t forget about the two lives lost,” says CSFD Fire Marshal Brett Lacey, who sits on the committees for NFPA 1031, Professional Qualifications for Fire Inspector and Plan Examiner, and NFPA 1730, Organization and Deployment of Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Fire Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public. “But our community needs to be proud [that] we saved 82 percent of the homes that were legitimately threatened by this wildfire event.”
Check out the video of Colorado Springs resident Dick Standaert talking about mitigation work that prevented the fire from entering his neighborhood: