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Colorado Edition: Wildfires and climate crisis; Marshall Fire smoke damage to homes

Colorado River Drought
John Locher
In this Aug. 13, 2021, file photo a buoy rests on the ground at a closed boat ramp on Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Boulder City, Nev. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released projections Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, that indicate an even more troubling outlook for a river that serves millions of people in the U.S. West.

The Marshall Fire was, in many ways, precipitated by a perfect storm of climate threats we’ve experienced for decades in our region, primarily extreme drought since 2000. For many climate researchers, watching disasters like the Marshall Fire unfold reveals effects of climate change in real time. We speak with Louisville-based geographer and global climate researcher Lauren Gifford about the Marshall Fire and how it connects to the climate crisis on a global scale.

The recent Marshall Fire leveled some homes to the ground, leaving many others intact but uninhabitable due to smoke and ash. In some cases, the damage is so severe that moving back any time soon seems impossible. That’s the situation facing Bronwyn Brewer, a Louisville resident and single mom of three, who can't go home even though it's still standing. We speak with Brewer about her family’s experience, and navigating insurance and disaster assistance.

Today's episode of Colorado Edition was hosted by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. Web was edited by digital manager Ashley Jefcoat.

The mission of Colorado Edition is to deepen understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversation and storytelling. It's available as a podcast on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC, Monday through Friday at 2:30 and at 6:30 p.m.
Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily look at the stories, news, people and issues important to you. It's a window to the communities along the Colorado Rocky Mountains.