News: Fire & Environment

Danger at our Doorstep


Disasters are a very real part of life in Colorado. Things here burn. And flood. And they slide down mountainsides. And once in a while, things shake. We even get the occasional twister. This special section shows how locals can prepare for disasters that can strike in the Pikes Peak region.

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Legislation sprouts from the ashes; disaster-related measures expected to win bipartisan approval

DENVER - Colorado lawmakers are gearing up for the 2014 fire season, prepping to spend millions on a new firefighting air fleet, tax incentives for fire mitigation and ...

Major mitigation work continues in the Colorado Springs area

Volunteers and paid crews are working across the Pikes Peak region on wildfire and flood mitigation after two years of devastating disasters.

Fire and rain: Region girds for disasters

Wildfire ravaged the mountains west of Colorado Springs on a hot, dry day in June 2012 after smoke billowed out of Waldo Canyon. Two lives, 347 homes and acre upon acre of...

Manitou Springs women move forward, adapting to a 'new normal' after last summer's disaster

Last summer's floods have changed the way many residents think, how they operate their...

Side Streets: Disaster nothing new for area so be prepared

There's plenty of history that teaches us bad things do happen. And with some regularity. - To know this, you don't have to be a history expert. I have learned this lesson...

Disaster planning, communication better

Local emergency officials have improved their disaster planning after the wildfires and floods of the past two years.

Volunteer organizations prep for disasters, address strengths and weaknesses

Volunteers are the driving force behind disaster relief and recovery operations across the state, making recruitment, training and preparation an ongoing effort.

Danger Doorstep Feature Video

Fire News view all

  • Black Forest adjusts budget to compensate for $100,000 investigation

    The Black Forest Fire/Rescue District held a public meeting Thursday to discuss 2014 budget adjustments needed to compensate for more than $100,000 internal investigation into its fire chief's handling of the Black Forest fire. The hefty fee for the investigation, which cleared Fire Chief Bob Harvey of any negligence, was not budeted for and...

  • Black Forest firefighter position cut to pay for investigation

    A part-time firefighter position is being eliminated and there will no longer be any paid firefighters at one fire station in Black Forest because of the high cost of an internal investigation. The money was spent for independent investigation into the Black Forest Fire and their chief to see if he mishandled the start of fire. That...

  • Cities now struggling from past fire-suppression efforts

    Peter Brown, the keynote speaker at the 2014 Colorado Wildland Fire Conference in Glenwood Springs, described a pattern Wednesday evening of fire suppression that began in the late 19th Century and has left 21st Century fire officials scrambling to stop the western United States from burning down. Brown is the director of Rocky Mountain...

  • Colorado Wildfire risk predicted worsen, unless policies change

    Bill Hahnenberg took the mic before a packed room at Wednesday's opening day of the 2014 Colorado Wildland Fire Conference and set an ominous tone with his opening presentation. Hahnenberg's monologue painted a dark picture of a state and large section of the country that he says is only destined to become more and more ravaged with wildfire...

  • Colorado wildfire conference a chance to share lessons learned

    Fire officials, emergency managers and disaster planners from across Colorado will be in Glenwood Springs this week at a wildfire conference. Doug Paul, chairman of the organizing committee for the 2014 Colorado Wildland Fire Conference, said the gathering ran for more than a decade before fading away in 2008. According to Paul, two years of...

  • Udall concerned military cuts could impact firefighting readiness

    Colorado's U.S. Sen. Mark Udall said the military is ready for another season of battling wildfires from the air, but remains worried that planned cuts could impact readiness. The Democrat visited U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs on Monday and met with top brass about wildfire preparedness. The command...

  • Colorado officials worry about fire dangers from target shooting

    Target shooters, beware. As summer nears, temperatures will rise, winds will pick up, forest fuels will dry out and the increasingly popular hobby that sends loud cracks of gunfire echoing through U.S. Forest Service lands will become more dangerous. A recent brush fire near Westcreek in the Pike National Forest sounded a loud warning about...

  • Aerial firefighting bill gets changes, will re-emerge Monday

    DENVER - A bill that would launch a Colorado owned and operated aerial firefighting fleet hit some turbulance Thursday in the Senate agricultural committee and was held over until next week. Senate Bill 164, introduced by Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, and Senate President Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, underwent substantial changes from the...

  • Colorado officials advise more fire compensation

    DENVER — Five more victims of a deadly 2012 wildfire sparked by what was supposed to have been a controlled burn should get more than $1 million in compensation, the Colorado State Claims Board says. The Denver Post reported Thursday ( ) that the board's decision on Wednesday brings the total in recommended...

  • Lessons from Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy shaped quicker military response to Black Forest fire

    Colorado wildfires have taught military commanders how to respond more quickly to disasters, the deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command told Colorado Springs business and civic leaders during a luncheon Tuesday. Lt. Gen. Michael D. Dubie said helicopters were battling the Black Forest fire last summer within two hours, much quicker than it...