Colorado Burn Scars with the General Assembly Wildfire Matters Committee
Fly burn scars from the South Canyon Fire, Coal Seam Fire, Grizzly Creek Fire, and Lake Christine Fire with the Colorado General Assembly Wildfire Matters Committee. Provide a holistic view of past wildfire damage and effective vs. ineffective prevention and mitigation efforts.
Wildfire is becoming an increasingly significant topic of EcoFlight's work, both in Colorado and across the West. From the air, the scale and impact of fires is striking. Plus, many of these fires happen in rugged areas that were difficult to access even before fires left downed trees, landslides, and unstable soils in their wake. For that reason, flights are a critical tool for assessing fire impacts and remediation needs.
Our flight took us from the Rifle Airport over old burn scars, now mostly revegetated, like that of the South Canyon fire, which famously and tragically took the lives of 14 wildland firefighters in 1994. We then flew over the more recent 2020 Grizzly Creek Fire, which continues to cause havoc in the I-70 corridor through Glenwood Canyon with mudslides and debris causing transportation problems. The flight also examined the 2018 Lake Christine fire scars, which was contained by slurry bombers and ground crews just short of neighborhoods in the core of Basalt, but did burn a house in a trailer park. Seen from above, these burn scars tell the big-picture story of how our communities and ecosystems are dramatically altered by wildfire. A big thank you to the Wildfire Matters Committee to the important work you are doing to understand and mitigate the challenges posed by Wildfire in our state!