Firefighters discuss ways to prevent destructive wildfires in Colorado

Fire experts tell 11 News there have been 12 destructive wildfires in Colorado over the last five years. Most of these fires were caused by people. Fire crews from across the state are meeting now to discuss how to prevent these issues in the future.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:27 PM MDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:30 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - More wildfires across Colorado are causing concerns with our firefighters.

On Monday, the Colorado Spring Fire Department and Colorado Fire Commission WUI Subcommittee hosted a forum to identify priority areas and actions needed to create safer and more resilient communities from wildfires.

Colorado Springs Fire Marshal Brett Lacey and Director of Fire Prevention and Control Mike Morgan tell 11 News there are not enough resources to go around. They say state and local governments are investing in communities to help put out any future wildfires.

According to state data, the 20 biggest fires by acreage in Colorado history have all occurred since 2001, with nine of those happening since 2018. The three largest fires ever recorded in Colorado -- Cameron Peak, East Troublesome and Pine Gulch -- all ignited in 2020, burning a combined 541,732 acres.

The three most destructive fires in state history (measured by homes destroyed) have all also been within the last 10 years. Two of those, Black Forest Fire and Waldo Canyon, were in the Pikes Peak region.

Fire experts tell 11 News most of these fires were caused by people. Firefighters say to prevent wildfires like these in the future, they need more overhaul resources and fire agency collaboration with others across the state.

“Wildfires in itself is very collaborative in nature,” said Morgan. “We rely on each other because no one agency has enough resources to do it on their own. We should work collaboratively and collectively across all layers of government to make the problem a little bit less.”

“We would like to get overhead teams to manage the incident,” said Lacey. “We want to get more resources. The United States does not have unlimited number of fire suppression mechanisms so we have to lean on other states and other municipalities to send crews when we have large Fire events .”

The forum will continue on Tuesday.