The Waldo Canyon wildfire is a somber reminder of one of the dangers present when you are living in the mountains. It is something that you come to expect and respect. Many local ranches have residents that are involved in the volunteer fire departments as a result of this concern. And many residents also are vigilant spotters and look for any sign of smoke especially when we get those afternoon lightning storms with very little rain.
The treat of fire is always with you when you live in the west and many local ranches here in Las Animas County near Trinidad and Walsenburg have active fire mitigation programs. Here is a story that we have been sharing here on our website about a couple Becoming Firewise that has a lot of good information.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to our friends and neighbors in the Colorado Springs area that have lost their homes or been displaced during this tragic wildfire. We were under an evacuation order back in 2007 when there was a fire that started on the East Spanish Peak and the fear of getting prepared to leave in a short time is frightening if you even get the chance. Many people affected by the Waldo Canyon fire didn’t get the chance to go home before the evacuation.
Here is good at this link Map of the Waldo Canyon Fire in case the embedded map below doesn’t show properly.
You know it is the dream of so many people to move to the Colorado Mountains and build a log home or a traditional stick frame home but I have felt for many years that you can build a home that is more fireproof by just modifying a few things. I always remember an article that I read in a 1994 or 1995 Fine Homebuilding Magazine about a family that re-built a home in California after a wildfire and he used materials that would be more protective. He had either a metal or tile roof, stucco siding and he had the guys stucco his eves and he put in concrete decks. He felt that the fire could enter the house from the wooden eaves or the deck so this was a way to stop that.
Also some of the local builders here like Lassiter Construction recommend that you use spray foam insulation so you don’t have roof vents feeling that the fire is sucked into the attic when a fire is close this prevents that. And we have seen a number of people build their homes using metal buildings and finishing off the inside as you would any other home.
Bottom line is that today out West you have to proactive in your fire mitigation efforts more than ever before and plan to build a structure that is safe.