Colorado Edition: Winter Fire Conditions; Anti-stigma campaign to treat opioid addiction

The Marshall Fire that broke out in Boulder County on Thursday quickly became the most devastating in the state’s history. The 6,200 hectare fire forced more than 30,000 people to flee their homes. Officials estimate nearly 1,000 buildings were destroyed. It was a rare occurrence in Colorado in December, but many experts say similar events will become more common due to extreme climatic conditions. We spoke to Russ Schumacher, Colorado’s climatologist and director of the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University, about how these conditions set the stage for fire.

More than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses from April 2020 through the same point in time in 2021. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is the highest value ever recorded over a period of 12 months. And preliminary data in December showed that the Colorado overdose death toll in 2021 was well on the way to breaking last year’s record for those who lost their lives to opioids like prescription pain pills, heroin, and fentanyl. The state launched an anti-stigma campaign called Lift the Label in 2018 and encouraged those who abuse opioids to seek treatment – but it mostly reached one group. We listened to KUNC’s Stephanie Daniel coverage as it was repositioned to reach a more diverse audience.

The Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O’Toole (@ ErinOtoole1) and edited by Henry Zimmerman (@kombuchacowboy). Our production team includes Tess Novotny (@tess_novotny). KUNC News Director Brian Larson is our executive producer. Web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai.

The Colorado Edition’s mission is to deepen your understanding of life in Northern Colorado through authentic conversations and stories. It’s available as a podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can hear the show on KUNC Monday through Friday at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The Colorado Edition is made possible with the support of our KUNC members. Thanks very much!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music on the show by Blue Dot Sessions.

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