Southern Colorado communities prepare for wildfire season

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BLACK FOREST, Colo. — Sparse branches are what’s left of the Black Forest Fire of 2013.

“We can have this event over, and over, and over again. We’re not done with it,” said Margo Humes, Fire Marshall for the Falcon Fire Department.

To prepare for the upcoming wildfire season, a firewise community meeting was held Saturday to inform homeowners living in or near a forest on how to best protect and mitigate their home.

“I think it’s like any crisis, you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you,” said Bill Mantia, vice president of the board of Black Forest Together.

Mantia’s home was one of more than 400 homes destroyed in the black forest fire.

He says that are still several people working on rebuilding their home two years after the fire.

“The pain, the anguish and the suffering that homeowners go through when you lose your property and for 12 months to 16 months, it’s something that you really don’t ever want to experience,” Mantia said.

“This will affect them their whole life, and we’re never going to see the forest, the way it was, ever again in our lifetime,” Humes said.

Fire officials say by being firewise, communities can be compatible with mother nature.

Fire marshals suggest having a plan in the case a wildfire sparks up near your home.

Have a list of items to take with you if you need to evacuate.

Have a go box ready with important documents or personal items. And start a discussion within your neighborhood about the importance of mitigation.

This can make all the difference in the way you handle a wildfire.

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