Report: Wildfire Mitigation May Not Have Been Effective In 2010 Fire

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Wildfire mitigation has become a hot topic in Colorado during a summer that has seen the two most destructive wildfires in state history.

In Colorado Springs, mitigation is credited with saving the Cedar Heights subdivision just outside Manitou Springs. Mayor Steve Bach told 11 News that mitigation on homes in that neighborhood was critical in protecting the subdivision when the Waldo Canyon fire got dangerously close early on. Bach is pressing for more neighborhoods to follow that example and make mitigation a priority.

City parks and open spaces are getting in on the action. Saturday, Red Rocks Open Space is calling for volunteers to come out to the park to help mitigate the park. Those wanting to help can register at 7:30 a.m. and will work until 11:30 a.m.

But the U.S. Forest Service says wildfire mitigation efforts may not have been effective in controlling a blaze that destroyed nearly 10 square miles of forest in Fourmile Canyon northwest of Boulder in 2010.

The forests that had been treated to reduce wildfire risk did not appear to alter the fire's behavior. The report says in some cases, the fire burned more intensely in treated land than on untreated land.

According to the Denver Post, the report released Wednesday also reviewed weather conditions and the fire's behavior.