Mother Nature Ignites Collard-Green Wildfire

Although the Collard-Green Wildfire in Eagle County, Colorado is 100% contained as of Monday, Pie Wildfire Expert and Collard-Green Wildfire Incident Commander, Jeff Berino shares photos from the 187-acre, lightning-caused blaze  that took the efforts of more than 75 firefighters to contain.

With Mother Nature’s fury to blame in the Collard-Green Wildfire, the cause and origination of wildfires at large, is benefitting from progressive research that aims to give homeowners the upper hand in  identifying the vulnerabilities of their home with the use of cutting-edge fire simulation software.

According to U.S. Forest Service expert, Jack Cohen,  “the greatest threat to homes isn’t’ from walls of flame sweeping through residential areas; it’s from the houses themselves – their construction, materials, even landscaping – and their susceptibility to embers, the tiny  bits of burning materials I call firebrands.” (National Geographic, September 2011, “Simulating Wildfires”).

Cohen’s simulation research has been played out on an actual 1,400-square-foot full-scale test house that is fitted with different kinds of siding, windows, gutters, and roofs to help pinpoint weak spots in home structures.

So what exactly are these structural “hot spots”?

“Vinyl gutters readily melt, and embers can infiltrate homes through vents, windows and roofs. We were a little surprised how quickly things happened once embers blew onto the roof – we saw ignition in seconds, “explains Cohen.

Cohen adds that when wildfires burn intensely they produce millions of firebrands that come down like a blizzard. Once inside a house they can potentially burn it from the inside out.  The software simulation will help users pinpoint areas prone to igniting.

For more expert advice on fire causation, visit

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