Though wildfires have been definitively connected to climate change, megafires in the West haven’t shifted public opinion as drastically as environmentalists might hope.
Researchers have found that repeated wildfires in the same region do tend to shift public opinion about climate change, so with back to back summers of megafires the Pikes Peak region may see greater interest in the effects of increased warming.
The devastating 2002 wildfire season generated public discussion about the need for treatments to fix our dangerously overgrown forests. A decade later, the Front Range has been hit with consecutive record-setting fire seasons, which has a lot of Colorado residents wondering why more of that treatment hasn’t happened. In this story that originally aired in April, KRCC’s Michelle Mercer looks into the status of forest treatment on the Front Range.
The Black Forest Fire destroyed over 500 homes, leaving those homeowners with a difficult decision: should they rebuild? Back in April, KRCC’s Michelle Mercer talked to some Waldo Canyon Fire victims about the tough choices they’ve made.
Since this piece aired in April, rebuilding permits have trickled in: now 198 permits have been issued, or about 57% of the Waldo Canyon Fire victims.
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.