Public invited to Wildfire Mitigation Conference film, weekend sessions
Community members are invited to get involved with the annual Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Conference April 27-29 starting with a free screening of “Elemental,” an award-winning documentary that challenges viewers to reimagine their relationship with wildfire.
The movie screening is set for 6:30-8 p.m. April 27 at Bud Werner Memorial Library Hall and explores the question, “Can homes, communities, healthy forests and fire coexist?” The film includes many scenes from Colorado such as the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, High Park Fire west of Fort Collins, defensible space work in Boulder County, high alpine forests and Fire Ecologist Tania Schoennagel, Ph.D., from the University of Colorado Boulder.
This year’s wildfire mitigation conference, with the theme “From Planning to Implementation for a Fire-Adapted Future,” will include presentations on current wildfire conditions, the upcoming publishing of the updated Routt County Community Wildfire Protection Plan and resources to help promote resilience within area neighborhoods and communities. The conference will include a series of discussions that will address how best to put the wildlife protection plan to use and why community involvement is critical.
On April 29, the public is invited to attend to learn about the Wildfire Protection Plan, best practices from local officials and experts, and resources available for their neighborhoods. Registration is requested for the April 29 event from 8:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the auditorium at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs through the presenter Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council online at RouttWildfire.org.
“Wildfire in northwestern Colorado has moved to the forefront of everyone’s concerns in recent years,” said Josh Hankes, executive director of the nonprofit Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council. “All 20 of Colorado’s 20 largest wildfires have occurred in the last 20 years. Not only has the severity increased, but the frequency as well with the number of wildfires per decade more than doubling between 1990 and 2010.”
Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Chief Chuck Cerasoli encouraged residents to attend the conference and “choose to get involved.”
“Local communities and homeowners have more resources and incentives than ever before to pursue meaningful change on their properties and in their communities,” Cerasoli said. “It’s critical to protect these areas we all love and cherish here in Routt County, but we need community engagement if we want to be successful.”
The Community Wildfire Protection Plan is developed to guide long-term wildfire mitigation strategies, provide an assessment of current landscape conditions, and identify and prioritize next steps. The plan will be adopted into the Routt County Hazard Mitigation Plan and be subject to annual reviews and revision every five years, Hankes explained.
Producers of the “Elemental” documentary note: “A growing number of scientists, safety experts and firefighters see a way forward for us to live and thrive with fire. The cost of wildfires on people is growing; our warlike stance is no longer working; and the decisions that our leaders are making about how we prepare for more fire have dire consequences.”
The conference will include an invitation-only session for stakeholders on April 28, and individuals interested in attending that day can email email@example.com.
To reach Suzie Romig, call 970-871-4205 or email sromig@SteamboatPilot.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.