Flash Point: Living With Wildfire


In the wake of last year’s destructive wildfires, Colorado’s residents, scientists, and government officials have been working hard to manage the ongoing threat. We’re not only mitigating our landscapes; we’re adapting our very understanding of what it means to reside within reach of mountain forests. Join KRCC News for “Flash Point,” a special series produced by Andrea Chalfin and Michelle Mercer on how wildfire is changing life in Colorado.
[April 2013]

(Scroll down for interactive timeline: Moments in the History of Wildfires, Forest Health & Climate Change. Jump there now.)


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A Disaster Is A Disaster: The Nature Of Emergency Management

Colorado Springs officials recently released their Final After Action Report, detailing the city’s response during the Waldo Canyon Fire. Authors studied hours of dispatch tape, personal accounts, and logs to assess what the city did right, and what needs improvement. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office also did the same. But a disaster lends itself to unpredictability, and as such, requires emergency management personnel to be flexible. From KRCC News Andrea Chalfin reports. (Click here for the story and more.)

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Waldo Canyon Fire Victims: Recovering Without Rebuilding

News of the Waldo Canyon Fire recovery has sounded an almost unanimous refrain, championing the efforts to rebuild in Mountain Shadows. But as KRCC’s Michelle Mercer reports in today’s Flash Point piece, that tells only part of the recovery story. (Click here for the story and more.)

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The Wildland Urban Interface: Where the Wilderness Meets Civilization

For many, the notion of the Wildland Urban Interface, or WUI, may conjure up images of sparsely populated regions of cabins in the woods. That’s only part of the picture. In Colorado Springs, nearly a quarter of the population lives in neighborhoods classified as part of the WUI, and it stretches into some unexpected places. In today’s Flash Point piece, KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin set out in search of a larger perspective on the wildland urban interface. (Click here for the story and more.)

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The Double Bind: Forest Treatment In The Age of Megafires

The devastating 2002 wildfire season generated public discussion about the need for treatments to fix our dangerously overgrown forests. Ten years later the Front Range was hit with another destructive fire season, which has a lot of Colorado residents wondering why more of that treatment hasn’t happened. KRCC’s Michelle Mercer looks into the status of forest treatment on the Front Range. (Click here for the story and more.)

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Wildfires and Climate Change Perception

After Superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast last fall, climate change was a ubiquitous cover story, spurring a national conversation about current and future effects. Though wildfires have also been connected to climate change, megafires like Waldo Canyon have been slower to raise concern about the effects of increased warming. KRCC’s Michelle Mercer reports. (Click here for the story and more.)


Interactive Timeline – History of Wildfires, Forest Health & Climate Change


Digital Content Curator: Shanna Lewis  



2 Responses to Flash Point: Living With Wildfire

  1. Mary Ellen Davis says:

    VERY COOL. The timely is fascinating. I had to read almost every entry.

  2. Mary Ellen Davis says:

    I meant ‘time line.’ Ooops.