Fire experts are fustrated by the El Paso county’s failure to follow their recommendation and toughen fire codes, reports The Denver Post.
The district proposed using noncombustible materials in construction of new homes, mandating that access roads allow firetrucks to get on and off the property safely, requiring that addresses be visible from the street and ensuring adequate water supply on property.
But today, if you own a home in Black Forest, “you can paint it with gasoline every morning before you go to work,” Black Forest Fire Chief Bob Harvey recently quipped. It’s dark humor, but Harvey’s message is clear — the forest remains as dangerous today as it did the day the blaze broke out last year.
The Black Forest fire, the most destructive in state history, burned through more than 14,000 acres north of Colorado Springs one year after the Waldo Canyon fire gutted 347 properties within the city limits. Recovery is well underway, with 47 of the 488 Black Forest homes destroyed already completed and an additional 152 in various stages of construction.
But the less-visible effects of the fire continue to take a toll on residents who lost everything — and even on those who fought the flames.
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