Fire Codes Getting Tougher After Damaging Colorado Blaze

By Don Jergler | December 13, 2012
Western Wildfires

Fire codes could be getting stricter in the Colorado Springs neighborhood devastated by last summer’s Waldo Canyon Fire.

The Gazette reported that Colorado Springs’ city council has given preliminary approval to fire code changes to make homes more fire resistant in the foothills.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department says the changes will make homes in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood more fire resistant if they’re rebuilt.

The Fire Department proposed the changes after the Waldo Canyon blaze destroyed 346 homes. Fire Marshal Brett Lacey has said that hundreds of homes might still be standing had the tougher fire codes been in place.

The fire code changes would apply only to rebuilds and new construction on vacant lots, not to existing structures.

The Waldo Canyon Fire occurred back to back with Colorado’s High Park Fire near Fort Collins, which burned 259 homes.

They are considered the two most destructive wildfires in Colorado’s history, and will cost insurers roughly $450 million, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

The massive figure for insured losses comes from the total 600 homes destroyed and other damages.

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