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The example of the fire in Boulder Colorado, on December 30, 2021 was a “game changer” because this event caused an ideological shift in management of wildfires. The assigned reading for that day focused on understanding how wild fires have become an enemy instead of an ally and why traditional ways of dealing with them is insufficient and problematic.

The two major protagonists in the story are those who argue for a more natural approach when fighting wildfires and those who argue for a more proactive containment strategy. Those advocating a more natural approach assert that humans should not intervene with naturally occurring processes like wildfire, while those advocating the containment strategies assert that it is necessary to actively fight some fires so they don’t spread out of control. Ultimately, over the past 112 years since this fire occurred, a combination strategy has been adopted wherein proactive measures such as prescribed burning are used alongside reactive measures such as direct suppression when needed.

The relationship between coupling hazards and disasters with social and environmental justice is important to understand because it illustrates how vulnerable communities are often disproportionately impacted by these events due to unequal access to resources or information which limits their ability to prepare or respond appropriately during disasters. For example, low-income communities may be less likely to have advanced warning systems in place or lack proper evacuation routes due to limited infrastructure investment in disadvantaged areas resulting from institutional racism or other injustices within society. This type of discrimination can lead to increased levels of death, injury and overall economic losses among vulnerable populations during disasters if these issues are not properly addressed beforehand through pro-active planning efforts at all levels of government.

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