1A Remaking America: Wildfires are becoming more intense. Are communities ready?

Wildfires are a growing threat in the American West, with climate change making them more intense and more frequent. The risk worldwide of highly devastating fires could increase by up to 57 percent by the end of the century, according to a report from the UN Environment Programme.

Boulder County, Colorado, is still recovering from the Marshall Fire last December. The blaze destroyed more than 1,000 homes and buildings. It was the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history and occurred outside of the traditional wildfire season, taking many residents in populated areas by surprise. One person died and another is still missing.  

As part of our “Remaking America” collaboration with KUNC, 1A visited Colorado for a live discussion to hear how the community is still recovering from the Marshall fire, and what state and local governments can do to become more resilient against climate threats. Listen JPB Fellow Katie Dickinson’s participation in the panel.