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How to Help Prevent Wildfires

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fireIt’s been dry. Not only has rain been absent, but temperatures have been increasing, as well. In Colorado, that means the dangerous potential for wildfires.

Keith Coffman, a reporter for Reuters, describes a recent wildfire in a piece syndicated on CBS 6:

An out-of-control wildfire has charred 2,000 acres, destroyed at least one house and forced the evacuations of 336 homes in a mountain canyon west of Fort Collins, Colorado, fire officials said on Sunday.

More than 200 firefighting ground crews are battling the blaze about 65 miles northwest of Denver, Nick Christensen, spokesman for Larimer County, Colorado told reporters at a mid-morning briefing.

Wind gusts up to 90 miles per hour in the narrow canyon blew the fire up from 20 acres to 2,000 overnight as flames roared into two subdivisions, prompting the early-morning evacuations, Christensen said.

Even something as simple as tossing a lit cigarette out of a car window can cause titanic devastation. In Colorado Springs, such an action is considered fourth degree arson if it results in a fire that threatens or damages property. The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) has stated that it will prosecute in such cases.

In a statement made through KKTV, the CSFD says,

Everyone is asked to take extra precautions to prevent wildfires when participating in all types of outdoor activities. We ask that parents remain especially cognizant of their children’s activities. Immediately call 911 when smoke or flames are spotted.

Residents are encouraged to ‘Share the Responsibility’ and reduce their wildfire risk by implementing Wildfire Mitigation concepts in their landscaping. Wildfire hazard ratings for individual addresses are available at

With fires and the potential for fires popping up all over the state, it’s a good idea to check your local area for fire restrictions. Bans or strictures on bonfires, cookouts, garbage burning, model rockets and more may apply. These activities, among others, have been restricted in the Colorado Springs area. For a complete list of bans in Colorado Springs, see this KKTV piece.

Larimer County, the scene of the recent, devastating “Crystal Fire,” quickly joined The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in enacting severe bans that even include smoking cigarettes outside.

Use common sense. Be aware of local restrictions.

Image by eioua/Jeff Ruane, used under its Creative Commons license.


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