Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week

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    By John C. Shepard
    Special to The SUN
    Gov. Jared Polis has proclaimed the week of March 3-9 as Colorado Flood safety and Wildfire Awareness Week, according to information provided by the National Weather Service.
    Flood-prone areas have been identified in over 250 cities and towns and in all 64 counties in Colorado. Over 250,000 people live in floodplains in Colorado. There are estimated to be 65,000 homes and 15,000 commercial, industrial and business structures in identified floodplains. The value of the property, structures and contents located in the identified floodplains is estimated to be around $15 billion.
    In 2018, the Archuleta County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan estimated that there is almost $17 million on 250 parcels at risk of a base flood event in Archuleta County and the Town of Pagosa Springs. However, only 132 property owners carry National Flood Insurance Program policies (as of September 2018), leaving many at risk in a flood.
    On average 2,500 wildfires occur across Colorado each year. Since 2012, eight people have been killed when wildfires occurred in the wildland-urban interface. The Archuleta County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (2008) ranks 258 of 288 subdivisions in the county for vulnerability to wildland fire.
    For more information on floodplain development, see the Archuleta County Planning Department webpage, or for emergency management, see the Archuleta County Emergency Operations page at: https://www.archuletacounty.org/.