Just returned from vacation and saw this article in the Washington Post.
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a resident of Boulder County and a long time supporter of mitigation efforts, has called for a review into whether those efforts were effective, as well as whether firefighters had enough air support and other resources…
Forest managers have begun examining the charred forest to see how their mitigation efforts worked, including how the fire was moving and how it behaved when it hit cleared areas, said Owen.
“All we can do is reduce the risk,” Owen said. “It’s not fireproofing.”
Mitigation efforts in the area had included communities banding together to plan for catastrophic fires, even if it meant convincing neighbors to cut down some of their trees.
Flames got within a half mile of the Poorman neighborhood on the eastern end of the fire, where about 30 homeowners had cut down trees and collectively purchased a plot of land for a community park, which served as a staging area for firefighters.
“These huge conflagrations aren’t as likely as the relatively small ones,” said Vera Evenson, a community leader who has lived in the mountains since 1965. She said the last major fire in the area happened in 1989. “That’s how we know mitigation works.”
Over the past three years, the county and state has spent about $800,000 on fire mitigation in the area, with thousands more spent by local fire districts and homeowners. Federal figures for the area weren’t immediately available, though Udall spokeswoman Jennifer Talhelm hopes that the review will help answer that question.
I thought it was mildly odd that the article cited a scientific study to determine acres of fuels treated.
Nationwide, the federal government treated 29 million fire-prone acres between 2001 and 2008, according to a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Hopefully, we would have a more direct and less costly method of reporting acres accomplished to Congress than funding university research on accomplishments ;).