Documentary — The Black Forest Fire

Last year’s Black Forest Fire was the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history, claiming two lives, 14,000 acres, and nearly 500 homes. Why did some neighborhoods survive and how do fire fighters determine which homes can be safely defended? This excellent 13-minute video answers those questions and shows many success stories.

Residents in the wildland-urban interface need to see this. It illustrates that clear cutting or removing all trees around a house is not necessary to prevent it from burning when a wildfire approaches — just thinning, reducing ground fuels, and fire-safe home construction is required.

After the video starts, click on full screen at the bottom-right to take advantage of the very good photography.

The Black Forest Fire – PPWPP.Org from Andy Lyon on Vimeo.


Thanks and a hat tip go out to Allen

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Documentary — The Black Forest Fire”

  1. Definitely a must see. I almost think people purchasing a home or becoming landlords in areas where this is relevant might reasonably be asked to view this as part of the purchase process. I believe there is still a free-rent view of many residents, where they like having trees nearby, feel they are unlikely as individuals to suffer a catastrophic loss because of THEIR trees, and so do nothing to mitigate.

    I do disagree with the ecological message of the video. A few crown fires here and there are probably a good thing, ecologically, to have in the wider ecosystem. But, they are obviously not compatible with human residence.

    Just as CA has led in many other areas related to wildland fire, seeing the landscaping in CA shows that defensible space can be very lush and striking. One area that I believe could help a lot is the basic neighborhood nursery. Fire Wise and Water Smart can be conflicting goals, and the quadrant of plants that are both Fire Wise and Water Smart could be emphasized more. Likewise, some plants like juniper might be more aggressively identified as noxious weeds and simply not allowed, complete with a property owner mandate to clear them from their property in WUI areas.


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