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More people living in wildland-urban interface 

click to enlarge The Waldo Canyon Fire burned 347 homes in 2012. - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • The Waldo Canyon Fire burned 347 homes in 2012.

The Colorado State Forest Service released a report on Nov. 26 revealing that more people lived in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) in 2017 than in 2012. In fact, people living in areas at risk of wildland fire increased by nearly 50 percent during that time, from 2 million to 2.9 million, based on data from a mapping tool. The new figure represents nearly half of the state's total population.

In 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire burned 347 homes in Colorado Springs and scorched some 18,000 acres. The High Park Fire that same year claimed 259 homes west of Fort Collins and burned more than 87,000 acres. In 2013, more than 500 houses burned in the 14,000-acre Black Forest Fire.

"With the continued increase in Colorado's wildland-urban interface population, it's critical for landowners and communities to take actions to reduce their risk and address forest health concerns," Mike Lester, state forester and CSFS director, said in a release. See the report at coloradowildfirerisk.com.

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