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Conflagration: Lessons Learned During Colorado's Marshall Fire

Thursday, April 27
On Dec 30, 2021, Boulder County firefighters were called to a grass fire. Less than 12 hours later, 1,084 homes were lost in Colorado's most-destructive fire. This fire was not an urban interface fire in any familiar sense. Rather, the Marshall Fire shares more in common with historical conflagrations such as the Great Chicago Fire. This class will examine the Marshall Fire from a company-level perspective. Using first-hand accounts, photos, and videos from firefighters at the Marshall Fire, a number of positive and negative firefighting actions will be discussed and a plan for using a hybrid of structural and wildland tactics will be examined. This conflagration can happen anywhere that is subject to drought conditions, has suburban density, and has the potential for high winds. The lessons learned facing simultaneous wind-driven fires across multiple neighborhoods can be used to make other communities safer and the firefighters tasked with confronting the next one more effective.
Josh Schmidt, Captain - South Metro (CO) Fire Rescue