CU Boulder Today Spotlights WiRē’s work with Platte Canyon Fire Protection District

WiRē’s Hannah Brenkert-Smith spoke to CU Boulder Today about a recent WiRē project with Platte Canyon Fire Protection District.

Fire Chief Joe Burgett of Platte Canyon Fire Protection District said, “A lot of people moved into the mountains, and they didn’t realize that where they moved is what they’ve been seeing on the news. This ecology that we live in was designed to burn.” The research shows that only about half of respondents said they were “very aware” of wildfire risk when they moved to the area.

Photo Credit: Patrick Campbell/University of Colorado

WiRē mailed out over 1,000 surveys to residents in the Burland Ranchettes Homeowners Association. Data collected from these surveys reveal that residents are often overestimating their preparation and underestimating their risk. Chief Burgett says that resident’s underestimation of their risk is a sign of a communication gap between the fire department and residents within their district.

To close this gap, the survey results provide data comparing on the ground risk assessments of each home with responses from residents of those same homes. The paired household survey and parcel-level wildfire risk assessment helps to identify what those gaps are, which the fire protection district can then address.

Read the complete article here.