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Climate change means growing wildfire risk for more populated Front Range communities

Colorado Wildfires
David Zalubowski
The Marshall Fire burns near a small shopping center on Dec. 30, 2021, near Broomfield, Colorado.

The Marshall Fire is the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history. The wind-driven firestorm ignited on Dec. 30 and destroyed more than 1,000 structures – most of them homes in the Boulder County communities of Louisville and Superior. Many experts say that urban and suburban neighborhoods are becoming more vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire as the climate warms.

Jennifer Balch, a fire scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder, explains what made the fire such a disastrous event, and how communities should plan for more fires in the future. She spoke with KUNC’s Mountain West reporter Robyn Vincent.

As host of KUNC's Colorado Edition, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. And because life is best when it's a balance of work and play, I love finding stories that highlight culture, music, the outdoors, and anything that makes Colorado such a great place to live.