Narrow roads bordered by trees. Areas without nearby water storage. More and more homes intermixed with wilderness in neighborhoods with one way in and one way out.
These are the factors that keep fire chiefs up at night thinking about how they’ll save homes and lives in the event of a wildfire.
“If you have to build a 24-foot-wide road instead of a 14-foot-wide road, it costs a lot more money,” said Chief Hal Doughty with the Durango Fire Protection District. “But if we don’t commit to those things, we end up in the same dangerous situation we find ourselves in right now. We haven’t built our access infrastructure to the point where we can safely protect property.”
In one of many efforts to address wildfire hazards, the fire district, city of Durango, La Plata County and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have partnered on the Wildfire Watershed Protection Fund to do mitigation work, Doughty said.