Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fire Outside Boulder Continues to Burn

Through the Denver Post I've been following the story of a fire in northwest Boulder that has claimed 7,100 acres and about 95 structures.  Even as their homes burn, some of the residents are pledging to rebuild.

And yes, they all said, they would all return or rebuild once the fire is out, even if the once-lushly green, heavily forested canyon is reduced to a charred moonscape.

"Rebuild? Yes, right where we're at," Flores said. "It's beautiful up there."

"Well, I'm from Detroit," Farran said, indicating that even a burned landscape is better than his hometown. "That should about answer you right there."

It seems like after every disaster there's great debate about whether people should be allowed to live in areas prone to flooding, fire, earthquakes, etc.  (For example, here's an article from the San Francisco Chronicle's webpage about building in flood zones.) But, the reality is that human settlements are always subject to larger natural forces (even when, in the case of this fire, the natural disaster is a fire probably started by a human).  Reams of scholarship has been written on this subject - I wonder if any of you blog readers have any you'd like to share, or any general perspectives?

Jamie Baker Roskie

UPDATE: Here's an editorial from the Post about the wisdom of spending federal fire mitigation money to protect remote private residences.  Not surprisingly, they're against it.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/land_use/2010/09/fire-outside-boulder-continues-to-burn.html

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