With dry and warm conditions contributing to a "very high" fire danger in Colorado, there have been an increase in house fires as well as wildfires.
Here are some Denver fire prevention and evacuation tips to protect your home and family during these risky conditions.
On Sept. 7, 2022 the roof of a Sloan's Lake home went up in flames, according to the Denver Post. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
As of September 9, 2022, in an area north of Fort Collins, west of Wellington, the Larimer County Fire has burned approximately 600 acres to date but has started to calm down while 60 personnel are currently fighting the fire. Evacuations were issued for residents east of U.S. Highway 287, south to Arapaho Valley Road, east to County Road 21 and north to County Road 66.
While it is unusually hot and dry, with winds increasing fire risk, here are some tips for preventing a fire before it starts.
- Know weather conditions and prevent sparks. Don't use power equipment that can throw a spark, keep cigarette butts contained and properly disposed of, avoid the use of fireworks, and do not consider outdoor burning or campfires.
- Stay off dry grass. Vehicles have started wildfires by off-roading, faulty wiring, dripping fuel, and even starting the ignition when other areas of disrepair are present.
- Create defensible space around your home. Clear fallen branches and debris. Keep a five-foot zone of rock/gravel, then a green area to prevent sparks from igniting near your home.
- Make sure your roof has a Class A fire rating to provide the most resistance to a fire.
How to Prepare for Evacuation
When fire risk is high, a simple spark can light a fire. With dry grass, leaves and other debris, it's easy to have a fire take off with little time to prepare for an evacuation. Here are some quick tips on how to prepare for an evacuation.
- Know what a mandatory evacuation means. When a mandatory evacuation order is issued, it is imperative to leave your home and head to safety as soon as possible.
- Have an emergency supply kit ready. This should include medications, a face mask to assist with smoke, a three-day supply of non-perishable food, a map with planned evacuation routes, a change of clothes, eyeglasses or contacts, important documents (driver's license, credit cards, birth certificates, etc.) and pet food or water, if you have pets.
- Plan a designated meeting place. This is especially important if you have family members who live or work away from the home. Phone communications can be impacted during a wildfire, so knowing where to meet loved ones is important.
Stay safe this fire season and be prepared to evacuate, if ordered.