Colorado is an undeniably beautiful place, especially in Summer. Warm temperatures and low humidity create an ideal atmosphere for traveling and exploring, but unfortunately, it also creates an environment susceptible to wildfires. The average core wildfire season is 78 days longer than they were in the 1970s, and Colorado experiences large fires every year. Whether you live in Colorado or you are just visiting, it’s important to be prepared for the wildfire season by having the right resources and knowledge. Take a look at our fire safety tips below.
First and foremost, being informed is the best way to be prepared for a possible wildfire in your area. The Colorado Division of Emergency Management provides up-to-date information on fires around Colorado, including fire statuses. Be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Also, be sure to sign up for local emergency alerts in your county of residence or the county you are visiting.
Fire Safety At Home
The Colorado State Forest Service recommends the following wildfire preparation activities to help protect your home from wildfire.
- Find & confirm at least 1 alternate path out of your residential neighborhood or area, and prepare for potential evacuation using the alternate route.
- Ensure your home’s address is clearly visible from the street
- Cover exposed attic vents or eaves with 1/8-inch metal mesh screening.
- Move items under your deck or porches to a storage area.
- Ensure firewood piles are at least 30 feet away from your house, preferably uphill.
- Remove leaves and pine needles from gutters and roofs
- Remove dry leaves and needles at least 5 feet from your home, under porches, decks, sheds, and any play structures.
- Sweep porches and decks clear of any burnable plant material
Fire Safety For Visitors & Travelers
Help protect the great outdoors of Colorado by following these tips for those traveling through during wildfire season.
- Keep your campfires small and manageable, and never let a fire burn unattended.
- Do not build a fire at a site in hazardous, windy or dry conditions.
- Check to see if campfires are permitted in your area. Fire restrictions and bans are set by local jurisdictions and by individual forest agencies. Check with the local sheriff’s office, fire department or the federal forest agency before building and lighting a campfire.
- Use an existing fire ring or fire pit. If there is not an existing fire pit, and pits are allowed, look for a site that is at least fifteen feet away from tent walls, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects.
- Supervise children and pets when they are near fire.
- Never cut live trees or branches for fires.
- Properly extinguish and dispose of cigarettes.
- When putting out a fire, water it until you can handle the embers
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