Wildfire Preparedness in Rural Colorado 

 Tips to protect your home and property
 
Colorado’s wet spring has given way to a hot summer, increasing the fire danger in Elbert County. As a rural community, Elbert County faces unique fire risks. The distance between communities and between residents within the community results in challenges related to fire. Fire death rates in rural areas are high, and loss of property and livestock have an extreme emotional and economic impact to the area.
 
Stage II Fire Restrictions
 
As of Friday, July 19, Elbert County Sheriff Tim Norton has put Stage II fire restrictions in place in Elbert County. Sheriff Norton based the increase from Stage I to Stage II on recommendations from local fire chiefs.
 
Under Stage II Fire Restrictions, the following activities are prohibited:
•Open burning, except charcoal grill fires, fires in approved portable exterior fireplaces, and outdoor welding or hot work.
•Outdoor smoking, except smoking within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
•The sale or use of fireworks.
•Use of educational rockets.
 
Fire Protection Tips
 
With the heightened risk of fire danger in Elbert County, residents are encouraged to do their part to help minimize the threat of wildfire. Here are some tips to increase safety in and around your home, and prepare for a fire event before it happens. 
 
In and around your home
•Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
•Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within ten feet of the house. 
•Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
•Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
•Wildfire can spread to treetops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
•Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
•Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
•Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
•Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
•Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
 
Create an emergency plan
•Assemble an emergency supply kit and place it in a safe spot. Remember to include important documents, medications and personal identification.
•Develop an emergency evacuation plan and practice it with everyone in your home.
•Plan two ways out of your neighborhood and designate a meeting place.
 
Learn more about how to protect your home and property at www.firewise.org. In the event of an emergency, Elbert County will use the CodeRED notification system to send alerts to residents. Sign up to receive reverse-911 calls, texts or emails by registering online at https://bit.ly/2FJVphP.
 
 
 

Wildfire Preparedness in Rural Colorado

Tips to protect your home and property

 

Colorado’s wet spring has given way to a hot summer, increasing the fire danger in Elbert County. As a rural community, Elbert County faces unique fire risks. The distance between communities and between residents within the community results in challenges related to fire. Fire death rates in rural areas are high, and loss of property and livestock have an extreme emotional and economic impact to the area.

 

Stage II Fire Restrictions

 

As of Friday, July 19, Elbert County Sheriff Tim Norton has put Stage II fire restrictions in place in Elbert County. Sheriff Norton based the increase from Stage I to Stage II on recommendations from local fire chiefs.

 

Under Stage II Fire Restrictions, the following activities are prohibited:

·       Open burning, except charcoal grill fires, fires in approved portable exterior fireplaces, and outdoor welding or hot work.

·       Outdoor smoking, except smoking within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

·       The sale or use of fireworks.

·       Use of educational rockets.

 

Fire Protection Tips

 

With the heightened risk of fire danger in Elbert County, residents are encouraged to do their part to help minimize the threat of wildfire. Here are some tips to increase safety in and around your home, and prepare for a fire event before it happens.

 

In and around your home

·       Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.

·       Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within ten feet of the house.

·       Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.

·       Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.

·       Wildfire can spread to treetops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

·       Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.

·       Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.

·       Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.

·       Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.

·       Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.

 

Create an emergency plan

·       Assemble an emergency supply kit and place it in a safe spot. Remember to include important documents, medications and personal identification.

·       Develop an emergency evacuation plan and practice it with everyone in your home.

·       Plan two ways out of your neighborhood and designate a meeting place.

 

Learn more about how to protect your home and property at www.firewise.org. In the event of an emergency, Elbert County will use the CodeRED notification system to send alerts to residents. Sign up to receive reverse-911 calls, texts or emails by registering online at https://bit.ly/2FJVphP.