Fires and Floods and Mitigation, Oh My!

Wildfire Mitigation Specialist Kyle McCatty and Boulder County Disaster Recovery Manager Garry Sanfaçon will lead participants on a tour through Lefthand Canyon, Ingram Gulch, Jamestown, Lyons, and other areas affected by wildfire and flooding in Boulder County. Tour participants will have the opportunity to see how communities in the Mountain West Region confront and mitigate natural hazards.

Mountain geographies create distinct challenges for disaster managers and communities. McCatty and Sanfaçon will discuss how flood and fire risks in the mountains differ from those in coastal and prairie terrains, describe how they shaped recent flood and wildfire events, and showcase how local government and residents have approached the mitigation and recovery process.

Those who sign up for the tour will begin the morning with a brief presentation about recent disasters before taking busses to see burn scars, floodways, and mitigation efforts. Participants will also learn more about the work Wildfire Partners, which provides mitigation assistance to homeowners, has done in Boulder County and view a Wildfire Partners-certified home.

If there is time, the group will make a pit stop at the famed Oscar Blues Brewery in Lyons for a quick pint and for a look around the town that was ravaged in the 2013 floods. The tour group will make a final stop at the Gilbert White Memorial Flood Marker along Boulder Creek in Boulder, where participants will have the opportunity to share their own stories of mitigation. All participants will be taken back to the Omni Interlocken hotel via bus.

Date: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Meet at Omni Interlocken Hotel, Broomfield, Colorado
Cost: $40 (a box lunch is included)

Space is limited! Only 75 participants can attend this tour, so please register early!

Sign up is available on your registration form. Participants will receive tour instructions separately after registration.


Tour Guides: Kyle McCatty and Garry Sanfaçon, Boulder County

Kyle McCatty is a wildfire mitigation specialist for Boulder County. He helps run both the county’s nationally award winning voluntary home wildfire mitigation program—Wildfire Partners—and the county’s building code wildfire mitigation requirements. Before that Kyle worked for the Colorado State Forest Service in Fort Collins and Golden for six years with a brief stint with Arizona State Forestry helping state and private landowners with forest restoration and wildfire mitigation.

Garry Sanfaçon is the Disaster Recovery Manager for Boulder County. He created and filled a recovery manager position after the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire which destroyed 165 homes. In this capacity he coordinates the various county departments engaged in long-term recovery activities and serves as the point person for public outreach and engagement. Following the 2013 Flood, Garry helped to form BoCo Strong, a collaborative of numerous local groups with the mission of enhancing community resilience.

Prior to working for Boulder County, Garry worked in a variety of sectors including: project leader for a global computer company, executive director of a nonprofit, planner for Santa Barbara County, and founder of an organization consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, effective teams, community building, and organizational facilitation. Garry holds a master’s degree in management from John F. Kennedy University.


Tour Coordinator: Nnenia Campbell

Nnenia Campbell is a research associate at the Natural Hazards Center. She holds BA and MA degrees in sociology from the University of Central Florida, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests center on the social elements of disasters, particularly social capital, advanced age, and the intersection of vulnerability and resilience. She also has experience with program evaluation and is trained in culturally responsive evaluation practice.

Questions about the Tour should be directed to Nnenia Campbell at Nnenia.Campbell@colorado.edu.