Wildfire mitigation is something we’ve been talking about for the past year, and rightfully so. With the increase of devastating wildfires, we have become hyper-alert to what we can do to prevent these disasters with the help of the county, the city, and the state. The Marshall fires destroyed over 1,000 homes, and since the Marshall fires last December there have been dozens of wildfires, some burning as we speak.
How can we stop these fires from happening?
It’s getting hotter, dryer, and the impacts on the environment are alarming. While there is no silver bullet that will eliminate the threat of wildfires, there are steps we can take toward positive change. If you live in Boulder County, we suggest one of those steps is voting for the wildfire mitigation ballot measure that will allocate .1% of sales tax to wildfire relief services. This tax funding will assist with grasslands and forest maintenance. The .1% will also help prepare families that live in areas at a high risk of wildfire, better protect their homes and businesses and provide community resources that will facilitate any necessary changes to make wildfire areas safer.
The Boulder County commissioners have conducted surveys, held webinars, and done several presentations around Boulder County to gain feedback from businesses and the community regarding the wildfire mitigation tax. A presentation from County Commissioner Matt Jones showed the members of the Boulder Chamber just how important this tax is for the safety of our community and economic vitality. Not just homes, but businesses have been lost due to smoke damage or the ravaging fires themselves complicating our day to day lives, putting our community members out of jobs, and forcing businesses to be inoperative for a period of time (in fact, the Louisville Target only opened at the end of August, after 7 months of closure due to the Marshall Fire). A simulation showed us just how quickly a wildfire can spread: https://www2.mmm.ucar.edu/people/coen/files/marsh4d_15fps_1.mp4 .
With the support of the Board of Directors and the Boulder Chamber Community Affairs Council, the Boulder Chamber endorses the Boulder County Wildfire Mitigation tax because it will provide funding to educate our community about wildfire safety, keep employees homes safe, keep our Boulder businesses operating with less chance of being devastated by wildfire disasters.