Warm weather puts focus on wildfire preparedness in Colorado

Governor declares May 6 Wildfire Preparedness Day
Posted at 10:03 AM, May 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-06 20:05:06-04

BOULDER – Governor John Hickenlooper officially declared Saturday, May 6, as “Wildfire Preparedness Day” in Colorado.

The new designation coincided with the national effort, organized by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The declaration focused on engaging communities, creating awareness, and acting to reduce potential deaths and property losses through preparedness efforts.

"Wildfire Preparedness Day is a reminder that we all need to have an understanding and awareness of the wildfire risks," Hickenlooper said.

"Think about preparation on two levels: One is your personal preparedness to evacuate, and the other is getting your home as ready as possible to withstand a fire. I want to encourage people of all ages to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes your community a safer place to live."

Ryan Lockwood with the Colorado State Forest Service said this year, Colorado had the highest number of communities that received 2017 NFPA funding awards.

In a release, he stated 24 of the 150 national awards went to the state and allowed for the implementation of preparedness projects. Those projects were introduced on Saturday.

Examples of these projects include neighbors collaborating to “chip” previously cut trees, removing slash and flammable woody debris, distributing wildfire safety information and practicing evacuation drills.

Communities across the state including Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Durango and Boulder participated.

At Boulder’s Chautauqua Park, the Boulder Fire Department and the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department hosted the wildfire preparedness event.

Information and displays on how homeowners can prepare for wildfire season were available between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Other agencies were involved at similar events, including CSFS, DFPC, U.S. Forest Service and other local organizations.

Follow this link for more information about the national effort.

May 6 Event Details:

Colorado Springs - Cheyenne Mountain State Park fuels reduction/wildfire mitigation, by Colorado Springs Fire Department with the help of youth volunteers.

Boulder - Chautauqua Park wildfire preparedness public outreach event, by Boulder Fire Department.

Fort Collins - Rist Canyon education event to meet local EMTs and learn about Firewise principles and creating defensible space, by Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department in collaboration with the CSFS.

Pueblo/Custer Counties - Slash collection events in the San Isabel/Beulah and Alvarado Campground areas, by the Middle Arkansas Wildfire Prevention.

Durango - Falls Creek Ranch wildfire risk reduction work, in collaboration with the CSFS and FireWise of Southwest Colorado.

La Veta - Tres Valles West brush clearing and removal by homeowners; "Ready, Set, Go!" discussion by the La Veta Fire Protection District. 

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