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Black Forest Together Announces The Phoenix Program, a Disaster Recovery Consulting Program, As Wildfires Devastate Colorado

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The Phoenix Program focuses on creating a disaster recovery plan for communities to implement as they rebuild and restore.

October 31, 2020

Colorado Springs, CO – Black Forest Together announces today the creation of The Phoenix Program. The Phoenix Program is a “turn key” consultative and funding model that provides recovery plans for communities in natural disaster recovery mode. This plug-and-play program includes organizational structure, policies, procedures, and job descriptions intended to accelerate sustainable recovery activities and assist transition into self-sustaining long-term operations.

This program arrives in a timely fashion as Colorado experiences the worst wildfire season to date. For months, Colorado communities have been fighting wildfires, the most prominent of which include the Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, and Pine Gulch fires. Many residents have been coping with uncertainty as voluntary and mandatory evacuations are ordered and altered daily. Sadly, these fires have been mercilessly burning homes and acres upon acres of land. As of today, more than 624,000 acres have been scorched, along with upwards of 550 structures, surpassing the Hayman Fire, which was previously the largest wildfire in Colorado history.

Black Forest Together is no stranger to the destruction caused by wildfires. The organization was forged in the crucible of the 2013 Black Forest Fire, one of the costliest fires in Colorado history, which consumed nearly 15,000 acres and destroyed approximately 500 homes. Formed by residents intent on providing community leadership and organization for disaster recovery due to this fire, Black Forest Together developed a sustainable plan to disaster recovery, and with the strength of the community, helped Black Forest recover, rebuild, and restore.

Now, it is with 7 years of experience, that Black Forest Together would like to extend these streamlined recovery processes to other suffering communities.

“It was heartbreaking to see the Black Forest community in such a state of devastation in 2013,” said Black Forest Together co-founder, Ed Bracken. “And now, it is with a heavy heart that we watch numerous Colorado cities battle wildfires that are ravaging and irrevocably altering their communities. We want to be a source of support and knowledge, as these communities work to restore their homes. Black Forest came back stronger than before and we are here to ensure everyone else does, too, as quickly as possible.”

Along with recovery, Black Forest Together knows the importance of taking preventative actions to avoid similar disasters in the future. Over the years, they have worked to develop and implement mitigation, wildlife and watershed preservation, forest restoration, disaster preparedness, and educational fire prevention and recovery programs. 

“We are incredibly grateful for all of the hard work firefighters and first responders put in each year, and especially this year,” says Ed Bracken. “This is why being prepared and doing our part to prevent wildfires and support our communities is essential.”

Between preventative care and disaster recovery, Black Forest Together is on a mission to provide tools and resources that will make communities stronger and more resilient in the face of natural disasters. For more information, explore the resources Black Forest Together has to offer.

Fire Recovery and The Phoenix Program:

Other Fire Recovery Resources:

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