By Marty Schechter
Special to The SUN
Over the past two decades, frequent, large, destructive wildfires have claimed hundreds of thousands of acres of land, damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and structures, caused deaths and injuries and displaced residents for extended periods of time across the state of Colorado.
According to the Colorado State Forest Service, more than two million Coloradans live in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), an area where man-made improvements are built close to, or within, natural terrain and flammable vegetation and where high potential for wildland fire exists. With continued development throughout the state’s WUI areas estimated to grow by 300 percent in the next 15 years, the wildfire threat is real and it is not going away.