‘Changing Face of Wildfire’ forums coming next week | PostIndependent.com

‘Changing Face of Wildfire’ forums coming next week

if you go

Changing Face of Wildfire forums

• 5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25, The Temporary, Basalt

• 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26, Glenwood Springs Community Center

• 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, Doerr-Hosier Center, Aspen

Panelists

Rick Balentine, Aspen Fire Protection District CEO/Chief

Rob Berger, UCR Unit Fire Management Officer

Doug Cupp, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District Chief

Scott Fitzwilliams, White River National Forest Supervisor

Jim Genung, UCR Central Zone Fuels Specialist

Tyko Isaacson, UCR Central Zone Fire Management Officer

Lathan Johnson, UCR Fire Management Specialist

Is the Lake Christine Fire a sign of the “new normal” for wildfires in our valley? What’s fueling the increased intensity of wildfires? Why has the western fire season grown by over 10 weeks? And how can our valley community be better prepared for the next disaster?

Those are some of the questions that will be addressed at a series of free community forums at three different locations in Glenwood Springs, Basalt and Aspen next week (see accompanying schedule).

“The Lake Christine Fire opened our eyes to the havoc and devastation a wildfire can inflict on our community,” Tamara Tormohlen, executive director of Aspen Community Foundation, said in a news release. “We were fortunate that, due to the vigilant efforts of firefighters and other first responders, the damage was not more extensive.”

Gary Ferguson, National Geographic science writer and author of “Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West,” will give a multimedia presentation on western wildfires, how they are changing and why.

Officials from local fire departments, Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management (UCR) and the U.S. Forest Service will also share their experiences from the Lake Christine Fire this past summer near Basalt.

“We believe the more educated and aware we are as a valley, the better positioned we’ll be to mitigate the effects of the next fire.” Tormohlen said. “These forums provide an opportunity for everyone to come together around the issue of wildfire preparedness.”

The forums will take place at The Temporary in Basalt at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25; the Glenwood Springs Community Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26; and at the Doerr-Hosier Center in Aspen at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27.


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