Author Archives: Bryan Bird

Fire and Water in Colorado’s Front Range

greenvsgreyColorado’s Front Range is no stranger to the dramatic interplay of fire and floods. Over the past five years, the region has seen several destructive forest fires with huge economic losses such as Waldo Canyon ($453.7 million), Black Forest ($292.8 million), Fourmile Canyon ($217 million), and High Park ($113.7 million). In the wake of these fires often comes intense flooding as heavy rains hit the exposed, ash-covered soils. Water utilities that draw water from the affected watersheds then face the cost of filtering water laden with ash and silt, repairing flood damage, and switching to alternate waters supplies until watersheds could recover. Near Denver, the combined effects of the Buffalo Creek and Hayman and fires led Denver Water to spend over $30 dredging its drinking water reservoir. Continue reading