Take an Active Role in Your Safety

Take an Active Role in Your Safety
Be prepared during wildfire season

Colorado’s hottest months are upon us and with the heat comes increased danger for wildfires in Elbert County. The County takes a proactive approach to planning for, and fighting, fires and we encourage residents to take an active role in protecting homes, land and livestock, too.

Stage III Fire Restrictions in Effect
As of late June, Elbert County Sheriff Tim Norton has put Stage III fire restrictions in place in Elbert County. Sheriff Norton based the increase from Stage II to Stage III on recommendations from local fire chiefs.

Under Stage III Fire Restrictions, the following activities are prohibited:
• Open burning of any kind.
• 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.
• Use of outdoor fireplaces and wood-burning stoves without an approved chimney spark arrestor.
• Use of recreational motor vehicles without an approved forest service spark arrestor.

Community Wildfire Mitigation Event
On June 5 and 6, the Office of Emergency Management held a Community Wildfire Mitigation Event. Over 150 residents brought their slash piles to be mulched, which greatly reduces wildfire risk across the County.

7 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Wildfire at Home

1. Clear: Clear off pine needles, dead leaves and anything that can burn from your rooflines, gutters, decks, porches, patios and along fence lines. Falling embers will have nothing to burn.
2. Store Away: Store away furniture cushions, rattan mats, potted plants and other decorations from decks, porches and patios. These items catch embers and help ignite your home if you leave them outside.
3. Screen and Seal: Wind-borne embers can get into homes easily through vents and other openings and burn the home from the inside out. Walk around your house to see what openings you can screen or temporarily seal up.
4. Rake: Embers landing in mulch that touches your house, deck or fence is a big fire hazard. Rake out any landscaping mulch to at least five feet away.
5. Trim: Trim back any shrubs or tree branches that come closer than five feet to the house and attachments, and any overhanging branches.
6. Remove: Walk around your house and remove anything within 30 feet that could burn, such as woodpiles, spare lumber, vehicles and boats – anything that can act as a large fuel source.
7. Close: If ordered to evacuate, make sure all windows and doors are closed tightly, and seal up any pet doors. Many homes are destroyed by embers entering these openings and burn the house from the inside out.

Learn more about how to protect your home and property at www.ready.gov. 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.