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Udall Releases Fourmile Canyon Fire Preliminary Report

Democratic Senator Mark Udall announced today the preliminary findings from a study on the factors influencing last year’s Fourmile Canyon Fire—the costliest in Colorado history.

The almost 90-page report looks at everything from the weather that caused the fire to response efforts. Overall 169 homes were scorched by the blaze in the foothills northwest of Boulder. Senator Udall stressed that the survival or loss of homes was largely determined by construction materials—adobe and non-wood were best—and the condition of the grounds 100 feet around the home.

“And in fact this fire taught us that the most important yard tool you can have if you live in a wildfire-prone area isn’t a chainsaw. It’s a rake and a weedwacker,” he said.

Boulder County Commissioner Ben Pearlman was also on hand to discuss ramped up efforts by local agencies to raise awareness among homeowners about what they can do.

A ballot question in front of Boulder County voters this November would establish an improvement district to organize wildfire mitigation projects.

A final peer-reviewed study will be released in January 2012.