The weather is getting warmer and people are starting to enjoy more outdoor activities in picturesque Larimer County. While we encourage people to get outdoors and experience all that Colorado has to offer, we also want to issue a stern warning to anyone who is camping to make sure your campfire is OUT before you leave your campsite or go to bed for the night. The memory of Hewlett Gulch, Fern Lake, High Park and Woodland Heights fires are still fresh in our minds and should not be forgotten.
Are you Firewise? Click on the image for a checklist and helpful tips.
Fire Prevention Tips:
Although the High Park Fire was caused by lightning, the Hewlett Fire a few weeks prior was started by a forest visitor. Always check to see if there are fire restrictions in the area you are visiting and, when fires are permitted, follow these simple instructions for extinguishing your campfire:
Extinguishing Your Campfire
When you're ready to put out your fire and call it a night, or before you leave your campsite follow these guidelines:
1. Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible
2. Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones
3. Pour until hissing sound stops
4. Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel
5. Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers
6. Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch
7. If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool.
**Reminder: Do NOT just bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and could start a wildfire.
REMEMBER: If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave!
For more fire information please visit: https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/campfire-safety
Reducing Wildfire Hazards Near Your Home
Larimer County Sheriff's Office encourages you to take steps now to protect your home and neighborhood. Once a wildfire threatens an area, there isn't time to reduce wildfire hazards. Follow these simple steps now and throughout the year to prepare and help reduce the risk of your home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:
Noncombustible Area (five feet from foundation):
· Clear needles, twigs and leaves from roof, gutters, below deck and in corners of structures
· Install wire mesh spark arrestor on chimneys and flues (mesh openings not exceeding 1/2")
· Install wire mesh (openings not exceeding 1/8") to cover all vent openings
· Box or enclose all eaves, fascia and soffits with metal screens (openings not exceeding 1/8")
· Remove all flammable materials from within 5 ft. of foundation and any overhangs/decks/stairs
· Use only non-flammable landscaping materials
· Remove all overhanging branches from within 5 ft. of structure/deck/stairs
· Use only low-growing, high moisture content plants
· Use fire-resistant roofing material (composition shingle, metal, clay/cement tile) when it's time to reroof
Lean, Clean and Green Area (up to 30 feet from structures):
· Use low-flammability plants, landscaping materials and accessories
· Prune tree limbs up and provide generous spacing between crowns (30 ft.)
· Locate firewood and propane tanks at least 30 ft. from structures (wood may be closer during wet season)
· Eliminate ladder fuels (mowing, pruning)
· Clear all dead vegetation at least 10 ft. from structure (dry grass, branches, pine needles, leaves)
· Remove any heavy accumulation of flammable debris (dead trees, downed branches, pine needles)
Healthy Forest Area (beyond 30 feet):
· Maintain 30 ft. between tree clusters
· Prune tree limbs up
· Remove any heavy accumulation of woody debris (piles of wood or branches)
· Provide fuel breaks (driveways, gravel walk ways, rock outcroppings, lawns)
Assist Emergency Responders (access):
· Post reflective house numbers at the edge of the road so they are clearly visible both day and night
· Make sure the driveway is at least 12 feet wide and all tree branches are cleared to a height of 14 feet to allow emergency response vehicles safe access to all structures.
Make an Emergency Evacuation Plan:
The plan should include a designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area, several different escape routes from your home and community. This should also include an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock.
A family communication plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation should also be part of your evacuation plan.
You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are - at home, at school, or at work. The Emergency Notification system allows residents of Larimer County to sign up for FREE emergency alerts on their cell phone, work phone, text message, email, home phone, pager, etc. Residents can choose the locations they want to be contacted about, as long as those locations are within the boundaries of Larimer County.
How do I sign up?
If you have a traditional landline phone, that number (and location) will automatically be entered through the 9-1-1 database. To register additional locations, phone numbers or other devices:
Register online at: www.leta911.org
Or you can register by phone: 970-962-2173
The information that you provide will be used for emergency purposes only and will not be shared with any other vendor or organization. If you have any problems registering an address or if you have questions, please contact Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority (LETA) directly at 970-962-2170
Did you know?
Upgraded "next generation 9-1-1" technology allows staff in the five Larimer County dispatch centers to communicate instantly online and instantly reroute 9-1-1 and/or administrative calls to other communications centers during heavy call loads. These 9-1-1 system upgrades were funded and coordinated by LETA, an organization created by several local governments.
LETA facilitates enhanced emergency communications technology, including emergency notifications, across Larimer County. This organization is funded by a 45 cent fee included on Larimer County resident and business landline and cell phone bills.
For more great fire information, please visit the website http://www.co.larimer.co.us/wildfire/