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Wildfire devastation measured

By Carl Winder, Multimedia Journalist, carl.winder@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:30:44 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 25 2013 02:29:04 AM CDT

The National Institute of Standard and Technology created the Wildland Urban Interface Scale, it helps people who live in forested areas find out if where they live is affected by wildfires.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes these natural disasters can be measured.

Now add wildfires to the mix.

More than 1,000 Colorado homes have been destroyed by wildfires.

But the National Institute for Standard and Technology and the US Forest Service teamed up to help people like Clairelise Post.

"Last year my family lost there home in the Waldo Canyon Fire," Post said.

They created the Wildland Urban Interface Hazard Scale.

It measures wildfires from E-1 to E-4.

Black Forest would be an example of E-4 since it is a heavily wooded area.

Downtown Colorado Springs would be considered E-1 since it is away from the forest.

"I don't think it will have any significant help for us," Black Forest Fire Chief Bob Harvey said.

He feels the scale isn't right for Colorado.

"I think it is a measurement tool that can be used for assigning grant processes or joining the fire districts that join the US forest boundary," Harvey said.

Wildfires have accounted for more than $800 million in insurance claims.

The scale looks to tip that number down.

"I think it's good for people to know what's going on," Post said.

NIST says they are creating a computer program for the scale for fire departments and government leaders to use before a fire starts.

 

 

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