Letter: Perils of living in fire prone areas

Editor:

Kate Hawthorne’s articles about the Hewlett Gulch and High Park fires (June 2012 issue) are organized and very relevant. It is eerie how the former included the remark “..and what the driest summer since 2002 has in store for Northern Colorado.”

We can all hope that the recent rains will dampen future fire risks and may mark a return to more moisture and help for our bone dry forests. I believe we have had a decade of below normal moisture so one can’t be overoptimistic.

Everyone feels sympathy and sadness for those who lost their homes in the forests. I am sure that many would never have believed that their areas would burn like, say, Rist Canyon with its greater forests. I suspect some may question the sense of returning to a fire susceptible area-or afford to rebuilt to modern codes. Firefighting progress may have been retarded by a focus on saving structures versus putting out the fires and this — early on — may be partly to blame for the dramatic fire growth.

All very sad.

Harland Ranney
Fort Collins

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