January 18 Digest: This Week in Wildfire Recovery News

This is a digest of selected news and media that emerged over the last week related to wildfire emergencies, recovery efforts, and resilience building efforts in the American West. 

Mental Fitness Training for Wildland Fire Fireline Personnel

From Homeland Security Today | January 14, 2022

WFSTAR is now required training for all personnel assigned to positions with fireline duties, and for any position assigned to the fireline for non-suppression tasks.

USDA Outlines Long-Term Strategy for Addressing Wildfire Crisis

From AgNet West Radio Network | January 18, 2022

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Forest Service Chief Randy Moore launch strategy outline that will discuss increase fuels and forest health treatments as a response to the growing wildfire crisis

First Public Meeting on Big Basin State Park Rebuild is Thursday

From Santa Cruz Sentinel, by Hannah Hagemann | January 18, 2022

After the CZU August Lightning Complex fire burned 97% of Big Basin Park’s 18,000 acres, residents will get a chance to discuss the rebuilding process via an online forum

Survivors Share What They’ve Learned From Their Painful Experience with Colorado Wildfires

From The Colorado Sun, by Jason Blevins, Tamara Chuang, Shannon Najmabadi, Olivia Prentzel and Kevin Simpson | January 16, 2022

The Colorado Sun reached out to several of the people who not only survived the catastrophic wildfires, but rebuilt in the wake of infernos to get insight on insurance issues and coping with the emotional weight of the destruction

New Study to Help Lytton-Area Indigenous Community Rebuild With Climate Resilience After Fire

From Global News, by Heather Yourex-West | January 14, 2022

After fire that wiped out the village of Lytton during a record heatwave, Kanaka Bar, with the help of researchers at Calgary’s Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, is preparing to build homes for families that have been displaced by the destruction, homes that can withstand not only future fires, but all kinds of extreme weather events.

Boulder County Has Rules on How to Better Build Homes to Survive Wildfires. None of Them Applied Where 1,000+ Homes Burned in Marshall Fire

From Colorado Public Radio, by Michael Elizabeth Sakas | January 18, 2022

Colorado does not have statewide regulations on how homes should be built or rules on how landscaping and other open space should be managed to survive wildfires better. A handful of other states do. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, thoughtful changes to both can greatly increase the chances of a home surviving a wildfire.Neither of the communities that suffered the most damage in the Marshall fire has wildfire-focused construction or design requirements.

Supply Chain Issues Could Impact Rebuilding After Marshall Fire

From 9news, by Luis de Leon | January 15, 2022

With labor shortages and other issues continuing in the supply chain, the eventual process to rebuild may be extended, experts say.

Colorado Springs Fire Department Launches New Wildfire Information Website – Colorado Springs, Colorado

From Eminetra, by coloradosprings | January 14, 2022

New Colorado Springs Fire Department website features continually updated information on wildfire precautions and responses

"We Need to Act Now": Biden Administration Unveils Plan to Address the Nation's Wildfire Crisis

From CBS News, by Tori B. Powell | January 18, 2022

U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday that Biden administration will make "aggressive effort" to address the blazes in a new multi-billion dollar initiative: a 10-year strategy called "Confronting the Wildfire Crisis: A Strategy for Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America's Forests"

Neguse, Blumenauer Unveil Act To Improve FEMA Disaster Recovery Process in Wake of Marshall Fire

From Estes Park Trail Gazette, by Joe Neguse | January 18, 2022

Representatives Joe Neguse and Earl Blumenauer are unveiling new legislation, The Resilience Act, that will strengthen FEMA’s pre and post-disaster mitigation efforts and improve codes and standards to make American communities more prepared for worsening natural disasters.