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

Reuters /Landov
September 21, 2014 | NPR · The people behind a vicious attack were identified as Islamist militants from Somalia, but few other details about the incident have been made public.
 

AP
September 21, 2014 | NPR · Catholic universities and hospitals argue they shouldn’t have to offer contraceptive coverage, but many Catholic insurance companies have been making it available for years.
 

AFP/Getty Images
September 21, 2014 | NPR · The top two presidential candidates in Afghanistan shake hands and sign a power-sharing deal, ending months of bitter disputes over who will succeed Hamid Karzai.
 

Arts & Life

September 21, 2014 | NPR · NPR’s Wade Goodwyn speaks with young Korean-American actor Ki Hong Lee, who appears in the new film, The Maze Runner, about how he broke into acting, and Asian-Americans in Hollywood.
 

September 21, 2014 | NPR · Astrophysicist Roberto Trotta argues that we don’t need jargon. He tells NPR’s Wade Goodwyn he’s compiled a history of the universe as we know it, using only the 1,000 most-common English words.
 

Getty Images
September 21, 2014 | NPR · NPR’s Michel Martin asks a panel of award-winning playwrights how diverse artists are challenging Broadway’s landscape, and whether it matters.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 20, 2014 | NPR · The Oscar and Grammy Award-winning R&B singer says her new album, JHUD, has more energy than her previous ballad-heavy albums, and expresses more of her “everyday person.”
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 20, 2014 | NPR · A certain someone hates the word “songstress.” What else should be abolished from music writing?
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 20, 2014 | NPR · As a kid, Scottish soul singer Paolo Nutini fell in love with male harmony groups like The Drifters. He says the fragility on those old recordings inspired the sound of his new album, Caustic Love.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab