Letter to the editor: There are wildfire emergency evacuation deficiencies in Breckenridge | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: There are wildfire emergency evacuation deficiencies in Breckenridge

Jay Johnson

In 2020, I began to research our wildfire risks and how to escape Breckenridge with limited evacuation routes. Remember our Peak 2 fire?

In 2021, I submitted a draft report with recommendations to save lives, but it was not shared with Breckenridge Town Council members. During the last election, I personally handed the document to the entire council, and since then, not a single question or reply. 

I have built a Facebook page, We the People Breckenridge CO. I’ve posted critical information and would encourage everyone to visit the page and watch two posts, a Frontline documentary “Escaping Paradise” and “Lessons Learned from the Camp Fire,” Part 4. 

It is my hope this elevates everyone’s understanding of our risks. 

I’ve posted two PDF documents — one given to Breckenridge Town Council and one that was refused by a town official.  

My calculations show that what’s at risk is $8 billion of insured property, which only covers reconstruction costs and does not cover the $14 billion of current market value.

I believe the Peak 2 Fire, with winds out of the northwest at 35 mph, could destroy all of Breckenridge in less than two to three hours. Imagine a line of traffic 57 miles long escaping from peaks 6 7 8 9 10 and the other side Baldy neighborhoods and French Gulch. 

The alternative possible routes to escape are on jeep trails up Baldy or Boreas or Peak 10 — or if trapped in grid lock in town to jump into Blue River flowing through the middle of Breckenridge. 

In the Frontline documentary, you will understand how normal roads are over whelmed and temperatures outside your car, with fire on both sides, can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 

More needs to be done by our town and county.

Time is not our friend. 

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