“I can see the fires burning from my window. We might have to evacuate.” So began my mom during our most recent Sunday phone date. 

A resident of Colorado Springs, Colo. since 1998, she was referring to the “Waldo Canyon fire,” the latest in a string of aggressive blazes. This fire began in the Pike National Forest and had consumed close to 2,500 acres since that Saturday, triggering evacuation orders for 11,000 Coloradoans.

Safety, of course, is the foremost concern. Then there is the rest. Considering the trajectory of the High Park fire and the other seven fires burning across the state, many precious assets—homes, natural marvels, black bears, historic structures, amongst others—are in serious danger.

“This is the one time that Colorado wouldn’t be good for your allergies,” my mom joked, trying to appear upbeat. 

Imagining ominous plumes of gray smoke billowing over the “happy little trees” lining my mom’s neighborhood and infiltrating Pike’s Peak is jarring. The vistas of Pike’s Peak, the most-summited high-elevation mountain in the nation, inspired “America The Beautiful” after all. Countless public parks, one of which is named the “Garden of the Gods,” have served as the backdrop for happy family excursions over the years. In 2010, we made our way to Estes Park and stayed—and consequently survived—a night in the 102-year-old Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King to pen The Shining.

Attempting to articulate the region’s striking contours and beauty would be futile. Instead words seem better spent on how to mitigate the damage they incur when disaster does strike. To that end, we have assembled a series of articles in our online repository on PropertyCasualty360.com to assist you in managing specific risks and coordinating investigations for complex P&C fire claims.

We—excluding perhaps the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh—are prone to taking nature and, well, many things for granted. We have an astounding capacity for doing so, from the way we live to the way we work. So sometimes you need a little perspective. In this month’s cover story, experts at Deloitte offer a fresh take on implementing claim predictive models, emphasizing the “people” benefits of well-executed engagement strategies.