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What's Next: 416 Fire Open House

  • La Plata County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall 2500 Main Street Durango, CO 81301 (map)

The 416 Fire is contained, and while it may smolder till snowfall, it’s time for our community to ask, “what’s next?” Join the open conversation with experts from across disciplines, agencies, and organizations. Whether you’re interested in water quality and fish, protecting your home from fires & floods, trail access, or how you can help monitor and restore the forest, we’ll be there to answer your questions and brainstorm solutions.

5:00-6:30 pm: Panel discussion on next steps and questions
6:30-8:00 pm: Themed table conversations to answer questions and brainstorm solutions
Throughout: food for purchase & resources from key partners

Matt Janowiak (San Juan National Forest)
Jim White (Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
Julie Korb (Fort Lewis College)
Butch Knowlton (La Plata County Emergency Management)
Brian Divine (San Juan Basin Health). 

Following the panel, community members will be invited to engage with their own ideas of “what’s next” based on key areas of interest. Themed tables staffed by local leaders of every subject will offer the opportunity for participants to delve deeper into conversations around their own questions or solutions. Table themes include, but are not limited to: fish and wildlife, forest resilience, economics, river health, recreation, human health and safety, and private land mitigation. You’re welcome to join one table for the whole session or wander around the room to answer various curiosities. 

In addition to the community discussions, each partner will bring resources and their own ideas of “What’s Next” to share, so attendees will walk away with countless options for engaging in recovery from the 416 Fire. Food and beverages will be available for purchase during the event. 

This is an opportunity to bring our community together around unanswered questions and next steps after the 416 Fire. Moving forward, we hope we can use this fire as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of fire in our local ecosystems, and how we interact with it. 

The 416 Fire Talk Series

In addition to the What’s Next 416 Open House, there are two other events being held as part of the 416 Fire Talk Series. On September 14th from 9am to 3pm, Dr. Julie Korb from Fort Lewis College, Gretchen Fitzgerald from the San Juan National Forest, and Aaron Kimple from Mountain Studies Institute will lead a tour about vegetation regrowth in the 416 and Missionary Ridge burn scars. More info here:

On October 22 from 5-8:30pm, similar partners will come together around the intersection of forests, fire, recreation and conservation. The event will include a community fundraiser, film screening, and panel with recreation and conservation leaders from across the state, as well as an exciting announcements about how you can get involved in new local conservation efforts.