(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A who’s who of Colorado local and state officials, as well as FEMA and a very special guest converge on Colorado Springs with live-saving information.

That guest is the U.S. Fire Administrator, Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell who’s on a three-city Fire Stop Tour which also includes Boise, ID, and Sacramento, CA. Dr. Moore-Merrell is a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Principals of America’s National Fire Service Organizations.

Dr. Moore-Merrell is traveling through the western United States to highlight wildfire problems as well as announce her full report on Fire Prevention and Control with other dignitaries. They’ll acknowledge America’s fire problem, share steps to reduce the risk of fire in local communities and talk about the administration’s government strategy to respond to wildfires, especially in Wildland Urban Interfaces like Colorado Springs where natural fire fuels are overwhelming due to major city-centers which are built within surrounding wildland areas.

Dr. Moore-Merrell also discusses what people can do to help prevent such disasters in their lives by having solid plans for a safe space, family communication, evacuation, and needed essentials if forced to leave their homes.

As a Doctor of Public Health, she researches, leads, and educates about possible solutions for various developments, including those who fight these fires. Their mental and physical health is a major focus as one person once said, “Invest in protecting our protectors.”

Firefighters develop PTSD at a similar rate to military service members returning from combat, they have a 9% higher risk of developing cancer and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer compared to the general public. There’s also an increasing number of firefighters dying by suicide.

Dr. Moore-Merrell suggests a lack of culturally competent behavioral health specialists to assist firefighters, and local employee assistance programs are ill-equipped to assist first responders.

In reality, we will not stop wildfires from occurring, but codes and standards are the means to better withstand and lessen the impact in the Wildland Urban Interfaces with a Community Wildfire Protection Plan assistance program.

During her U.S. Fire Administrator’s Summit on Fire Prevention and Control in October, which was presented to President Joe Biden, Dr. Moore-Merrell identified six problems in America’s fire service and recommended solutions.

For more information on this topic, watch Dr. Moore-Merrell’s visit with FOX21 Morning News where she gets more in-depth, or log onto www.usfa.fema.gov for her full report.