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Wildfire Collaborative educates on a different approach to fire

According to the Western Fire Chiefs Association,
Colorado reports over 5, 600 wildfires every year. While human mistakes are a leading cause of wildfires, climate change is becoming an increasing problem. Here's Angie Davlyn, Executive Director or the Roaring Fork Valley Wildfire Collaborative.

"We know that every year, wildfires become larger and deadlier and more common and more destructive and tougher to extinguish. And we can attribute these things both to climate change and also to decades where we've worked really hard to suppress fires and kind of keep them out of our landscape. And then here locally, you know, we are especially vulnerable. Due to our proximity to wildland."

Wildfire Collaborative's Reimagining Wildfire film addresses preventative measures like controlled burns that are less dangerous and more effective in the long run. Because so much of our resources go into preventing fires, dead brush builds up over years and helps unplanned fires get bigger and faster.

Davlyn says that wildfire prevention is less costly for the communities it affects as well as the surrounding wildland.

"Where we are here, there's a lot of variables that we can't control. We can't control the weather. We can't control the wind. So when fire is unplanned and uncontrolled, it can be incredibly unpredictable and difficult to figure out. Prescribed fire gives us a much better chance at planning fire
in conditions that are really favorable to burning that we know are gonna be beneficial, and also with the people power and the technology to make sure that we're controlling it to the extent that we can. So any dollars that are spent upfront doing controlled burns are certainly far less than the dollars that we'd see on, on the backend, which are, you know, in incredibly high fighting fires that are unplanned and out of control. I think many of your listeners will be familiar with the Lake Christine fire. I think we lost three structures, um, but we were at risk of losing so many more. And we want to make sure that we learn from those lessons, knowing that fire will continue to come to our valley."

The Wildfire Collaborative notes that working with the environment and reincorporating fire as a natural part of the landscape will be one of the valley's most important tools moving forward.

"We think there are two strategies that are really critical. The first is to do work in the landscape. So creating large scale fire breaks and especially working with the natural features of the landscape spaces where they're natural fire breaks and infusing money to do mastication and thinning or burning to help connect those natural features. The other is really. To work directly with homeowners to help them try to protect their structures. So as much as we're emphasizing work in the landscape, we want to equally emphasize that pretty small and simple mitigation efforts. Homeowners can make their homes wildfire resistant."

Davlyn encourages people to stay educated and take personal responsibility for the things that are within our control. More information can be found at

Lily Jones is a recent graduate of Mississippi State University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a concentration in Broadcasting and Digital Journalism. At WMSV, MSU's college radio station, Jones served as the Public Affairs and Social Media Coordinator. In her spare time Lily likes to go to the gym and watercolor.