On Sunday, April 26th, Saws and Slaws presented a screening of the 13 minute long film:
Unacceptable Risk : Firefighters on the Front Lines of Climate Change.
After the film, canyon residents in attendance benefited from the wisdom of a panel of 5: Bryant Robinson from United Power who talked about the important work UP has been doing to effectively mitigate areas below power lines. They have stepped up their efforts considerably over the last few years and have multiple mitigation crews at work year round. Garret Ball of Boulder County Sheriff’s Office was there to answer questions about risks associated with fighting fires and reiterated the message in the film, which was that no structure is worth more than the life of a firefighter. Jim Webster, Senior Planner for Boulder County, discussed the Wildfire Partners Program for residents in Boulder County. Grant money is available to aid in the costs of fire mitigation, after residents undergo an extremely reasonably priced site evaluation. Aaron Betcher of Gilpin County talked about grant opportunities for Gilpin residents to help them mitigate their properties effectively. Mark Tallman, Associate for the Center for International Security Policy Research (CISPR), presented at length about the importance of having a plan in place for wildfire evacuation, or any other emergency, as well. All in all, the event went very well and the attendees came away with a wealth of information related to wildfire circumstances.
As stewards of our shared forest, we all have many shared values to consider during a wildfire event. Electricity is lost, and we no longer have power to run well pumps, power communications, or keep refrigeration going, etc. The Watershed gets heavily affected and streams and lakes get deluged with silt and debris from runoff in the aftermath of the fire. Hiking and biking Trails get closed for months, if not years. Wildlife patterns change, which in turn affects hunting and fishing, etc. Structures such as Schools are typically turned into public shelters and local businesses suffer from a major decline in revenue. Roads experience closures until repairs can be made. A wildfire affects us all so it is up to us to be good stewards of our forest and mitigate effectively around our homes.