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I_WMRC_2021A 09/02/2021 09:09:09 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
INTERIM COMMITTEE  WILDFIRE MATTERS REVIEW COMMITTEE
Date 09/02/2021
Attendance
Coram X
Lee X
Lynch E
Simpson X
Snyder X
Story X
Valdez D. X
Will E
Ginal X
Cutter X
Time 09:09:09 AM to 04:03:53 PM
Place Old Supreme Court
This Meeting was called to order by Cutter
This Report was prepared by Ryan Dudley
Hearing Items Action Taken
Opening Remarks Committee Discussion Only
Timber Industry and other Mitigation Strategies Committee Discussion Only
Development and Home Hardening in WUI Areas Committee Discussion Only
Safe Evacuation from Wildfire Committee Discussion Only
Environmental and Health Impacts of Wildfire Committee Discussion Only
Water Impacts and Recovery Efforts Committee Discussion Only

Opening Remarks - Committee Discussion Only


09:09:24 AM  
Representative Cutter,
committee chair, made opening remarks to the committee. Presentations and
committee materials may be accessed here:
http://leg.colorado.gov/content/iwmrc2021acommsched.



Timber Industry and other Mitigation Strategies - Committee Discussion Only


09:10:27 AM  
Molly Pitts, Director
of the Colorado Timber Industry Association,  presented on the importance
of the timber industry in Colorado.  She discussed the viability off
the logging industry and workforce development issues.  Members of
the committee asked questions to Ms. Pitts.

09:54:28 AM  
Susan Matthews, Interim
State Forester and Director of the Colorado State Forest Service, discussed
wildfire mitigation strategies.  She described the need for investment
in forest health in high priority areas.  Director Matthews discussed
future capacity to treat forest acres.  Members of the committee asked
questions to Ms. Matthews.



Development and Home Hardening in WUI Areas - Committee Discussion Only


10:24:22 AM  
Mike Morgan, Director
of the Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Department of Public Safety,
presented to the committee on best practices for  home hardening in
the wildland-urban interface (WUI), and public education on hardening structures
in the WUI.  Director Morgan answered questions from the committee.
10:48:13 AM  
Rachel Lee, Interim
Government Affairs Manager, Colorado Association of Home Builders; Marla
Novak, Director of Government Affairs, Housing and Building Association
of Colorado Springs; and Josh Peterson, Vanguard Homes, presented to the
committee on home building in the WUI.  They discussed building codes,
defensible space, and construction materials and techniques to resist fire.
 Members of the committee asked questions to the panel.



Safe Evacuation from Wildfire - Committee Discussion Only


11:24:03 AM  
Skip Shirlaw, Chief
of the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District, presented to the committee
on difficulties with safe evacuation from wildfire, and strategies to improvide
evacuations. Chief Shirlaw answered questions from the committee.

11:54:06 AM  
Jason Whitesell,
Emergency Operations Director, Larimer County Sheriff's Office, presented
to the committee on best practices for evacuation from wildfires in Larimer
County.  Committee members asked questions to Mr. Whitesell.



12:18:06 PM
The committee broke for lunch.



Environmental and Health Impacts of Wildfire - Committee Discussion Only


01:24:01 PM  
The committee came back to order.
01:28:39 PM  
Christy Richardson, State Toxicologist, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), testified regarding the public health impacts of wildfire smoke, and strategies to alleviate health impacts of smoke. Scott Landis, CDPHE, discussed air quality monitoring and forecasting in Colorado, and public health advisories.
01:42:44 PM  
Coleen Campbell,
CDPHE, discussed open burning and the smoke management program.  She
discussed permitting for smoke management and non-standard projects.  Dr.
Richardson discussed the health impacts of wildfire-affected water with
bacterial and chemical contaminants.  Tyson Ingels, CDPHE, presented
on tracking wildfire impacts to water and wastewater systems.  He
discussed numerous water quality and watershed impacts from wildfire, and
the post fire recovery response.  

02:10:25 PM  
The presenters responded to committee questions.
02:29:55 PM  
Michael Ruddock,
Healthy Air and Water Colorado, presented on mental health and firefighters.
 He described fire fighter suicide rates and mental health issues.
 Melissa Lineberger, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, DPS,
discussed wildland firefighters and the unique challenges that firefighters
face.  She described a peer support program. grant funding to local
firefighters for mental health resources, and nonprofits working on firefighter
mental health.  
02:45:21 PM  
Mr. Ruddock responded to committee questions, and continued his presentation. He discussed efforts in other state and across the country regarding mental health supports for firefighters. Ms. Lineberger and Mr. Ruddock responded to committee questions.



Water Impacts and Recovery Efforts - Committee Discussion Only


03:04:43 PM  
Christina Burri,
Denver Water, presented on wildfire impacts on watersheds in Colorado.
 She discussed Denver Water's water supply system and past wildfires
that impacted the system.  Ms. Burri discussed post-fire recovery
projects and their costs, and long term watershed mitigation projects and
partnerships.  She discussed response and recovery to the Williams
Fork fire in 2020, and provided policy recommendations to the committee.
03:23:17 PM  
Esther Vincent, Northern Water, presented on the impacts of the East Troublesome fire and the post wildfire impacts. She discussed flooding, mud slides, debris, and algae in the watershed and recovery efforts.
03:47:34 PM  
Ms. Vincent responded to committee comments. Katherine Morris, Grand County, presented regarding watershed recovery efforts in Grand County. The presenters responded to committee questions.


04:03:53 PM   The committee adjourned.