The story of wildfire doesn’t end after the flames are gone. Wide ranging effects are ongoing such as the the possibility of flooding, victims’ recovery efforts, changes to building codes and more:



Flooding
Access
Building Codes

Emergency Preparedness Town Hall at Ute Pass Elementary
Video Source: El Paso County Sheriff


Changed Landscape Means Flooding Potential for Years to Come (July 17, 2012)

The Forest Service team that’s been working to determine burn severity in the Waldo Canyon fire area held a closed-door briefing yesterday with regional and federal groups to talk about flooding potentials. It’s still considered an emergency situation, and as KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, the changed landscape will have an effect for years to come.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Assessing Flood Risk in the Waldo Canyon Burn Areas (July 13, 2012)

Residents in and near the Waldo Canyon burn areas have been encouraged to purchase flood insurance if they don’t already have it. New federal legislation recently signed into law waives a 30-day waiting period for some new policies to take effect. Meanwhile, a team of scientists has been examining damaged land to understand the flood risks associated with the fire. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin recently traveled to Cascade to see the science behind the assessments, and to understand why flooding becomes such a risk after fire.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(See a larger version of this map here.)



With Highway 24 under threat of closure due to potential flooding, many have called for the reopening of Rampart Range Road. But as the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, that’s not likely to happen.



Colorado Springs City Council adopted new fire codes (Jan 8, 2013).

Residents of Mountain Shadows who lost homes to the Waldo Canyon fire will have to abide by a stricter fire code when they rebuild. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, Colorado Springs City Council today passed new rules for the city’s hillside neighborhoods.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The codes require new houses on the western edge to be made from more fire-resistant materials. They also include landscaping restrictions. The rules are projected to add about $6,000 to construction costs per home.

Several people who lost properties in Mountain Shadows say the new rules just add to their woes. Jonni McCoy spoke at the council session, saying her insurance is only paying about 50 cents on the dollar.

“So we’re already having to choose what things not to ever replace. If these burdens are placed on us, we have to choose even further what not to replace in order to pay for the code. I don’t think that’s fair.”

Older houses in the neighborhood won’t have to bring their properties up to the new standards.
Councilwoman Lisa Czelatdko says she understands how they feel but says it’s a start to creating a safer city. It passed 6-2, with councilors Angela Doogan and Tim Leigh voting no. Council President Scott Hente was recused.

(PDF of new codes.)


Main Flash Point: Living with Wildfire page with an interactive timeline.


A Disaster Is A Disaster: The Nature Of Emergency Management
Waldo Canyon Fire Victims: Recovering Without Rebuilding
The Wildland Urban Interface: Where the Wilderness Meets Civilization
The Double Bind: Forest Treatment In The Age of Megafires
Wildfires and Climate Change Perception


This post was published on 4/25/13.

 

One Response to Flash Point: The Aftermath of Wildfire

  1. Mary Ellen Davis says:

    I hope you’ll post a link to the updated flood maps when they become available.

News

EPA/Landov
September 30, 2014 | NPR · The Bilateral Security Agreement, approved by newly inaugurated President Ashraf Ghani, will keep some U.S. forces in Afghanistan past the end of the year.
 

AFP/Getty Images
September 30, 2014 | NPR · More than 20 bodies remain on a Japanese volcano, after new tremors force search teams to abandon their efforts. Officials don’t yet know precisely how many climbers remain trapped on the mountain.
 

AP
September 30, 2014 | NPR · Lawmakers on the House oversight committee will ask Julia Pierson about the Sept. 19 “fence jumping” incident at the White House, as well as several other security concerns in recent years.
 

Arts & Life

iStockphoto
September 30, 2014 | NPR · Kirkus Reviews has been around, in varying forms, for over 80 years — but it’s the new kid in town this awards season. Today, the publication announced the finalists for its inaugural Kirkus Prize.
 

September 30, 2014 | NPR · Kim Zupan’s debut novel is about the relationship between a deputy sheriff and a hardened killer. This book explores the line between good and evil in a manner that’s as honest as it is unsettling.
 

Twentieth Century Fox
September 30, 2014 | NPR · Director David Fincher’s excellent adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl relies on stellar performances and ultimately on a diabolically twisting narrative structure.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 30, 2014 | NPR · Grab yourself two free handfuls of new tunes selected by our panel of public-radio hosts, including new music from King Tuff, Sarah Jaffe, Frazey Ford, The Gotobeds, Hollie Cook and more.
 

NPR
September 29, 2014 | NPR · In the West, we’re used to hearing dance music at weddings. In southern Madagascar, guests might hear tsapiky, a regional guitar-band music, at funerals, as well as any other number of ceremonies.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 29, 2014 | NPR · At 46, Joshua Bell leads nine young musicians in the 30-minute HBO documentary Masterclass. Here, the violinist gives advice on finding yourself in the music.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab