Boulder County Wildfire Mitigation and Forest Health Newsletter

Posted on: October 7th, 2016

Boulder County Wildfire Mitigation and Forest Health Newsletter – Oct. 6, 2016

Today’s newsletter covers the following:

  • Harrowing Fort McMurray wildfire escape
  • Lessons learned from the Fort McMurray Fire
  • October is Wildfire Awareness Month!
  • FREE Wildfire Partners Assessments
  • Insurance industry participation in Wildfire Partners helps residents

Please forward this newsletter to individuals, groups and organizations you know who may be interested.

Lessons learned from the Fort McMurray Fire

preliminary report (1.3MB PDF) looked at how the Fort McMurray Fire destroyed more than 2,400 structures—the largest ever insured loss in Canada—in Alberta in May 2016.

Below are key excerpts from the report: 

After evaluating the fire environment and clearances between homes and the forest edge, the investigator discounted direct contact from flames or radiant heat of the forest fire as being significant sources of home ignition at Fort McMurray. Instead, it was concluded that wind-driven embers were the most probable cause for the majority of early home ignitions in the zone where the fire made its transition from forest into neighborhoods. Once established, the fire would have spread from structure to structure as a conflagration, accounting for the majority of home losses.”

  • In all neighborhoods studied, homes whose owners had adopted FireSmart guidelines—actions to reduce wildfire losses similar to Wildfire Partners—survived much more frequently than homes where they had not, despite the extraordinarily harsh conditions.
  • Recommended FireSmart guidelines work. They are effective in reducing the probability of home ignition and wildfire losses. Home survival does not appear to be random or a matter of luck.
  • Home survival depends on conditions in the home ignition zone, for which owners are responsible.
  • While low total hazard rating is important, a single critical weakness can lead to home loss.

    screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-11-33-17-amOctober is Wildfire Awareness Month!

    Every October residents in Boulder County learn how to prepare for wildfire, take action to protect their homes, and work with neighbors to reduce their risk. View the events and activities schedule that includes a photo contest and prizes, and the program “Burning Questions: Living with Wildfire in Boulder County” on Saturday, October 15 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. followed by a Firefighter Appreciation Luncheon at the Nederland Community Center. More info at:

    FREE Wildfire Partners Assessments

    Know your risk! Everyone who applies to Wildfire Partners in October 2016 (and is accepted into the program) will receive a free home assessment—a $75 value. We are offering this promotion because we have 100 spots still available for 2016. Assessments may be completed in 2016 or 2017 depending on weather and availability of our Wildfire Mitigation Specialists. Free assessments will not be offered again during 2017 October Wildfire Awareness Month because of grant funding deadlines. Act today!