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How cities in the West can prepare for the Western wildfire threat

A fire still burns in a home destroyed by the Marshall Wildfire in Louisville, Colo., on Dec. 31, 2021. (Jack Dempsey/AP)
A fire still burns in a home destroyed by the Marshall Wildfire in Louisville, Colo., on Dec. 31, 2021. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

Our latest First Person diary: 2 Colorado residents on how Western wildfires have shaped their lives.


The Marshall Fire burned down entire neighborhoods in Superior and Louisville Colorado.

“There are a lot of houses that are obviously missing from the landscape,” says Steve Sarin, a resident of the town.

Subdivisions in Denver and Boulder aren’t the only densely populated areas at risk in the West.

Now you have all these people, who live in these high-risk wildfire regions, and we don’t have the capacity to fight fires in the way that we have for the last hundred years,” professor Erica Fischer says. “So that’s like kind of the paradox that we’re in.”

Today, On Point: Wildfires and the city. How suburban and urban American districts need to retrofit homes, development plans and regulations right now as fire dangers grow.

Guests

Natasha Stavros, director of the Earth Lab Analytics Hub at the University of Colorado, Boulder. (@DrWKID)

Erica Fischer, assistant professor of civil and construction engineering at Oregon State University. (@erica_fischer)

Also Featured

Steve Sarin, resident of Superior, Colorado.

Patrick Kramer, firefighter in Longmont, Colorado.

Dave Beebe, chief of the Mountain View Fire District.

Cynthia Wallace, resident of Louisville, Colorado.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.