By: Estes Valley Watershed Coalition
We can all see, smell, and taste the signs of wildfires that are around us. Unfortunately, a common result of dry weather, unwanted lightning strikes and at times automobile or human-caused. Here in Colorado wildfires can occur any time of the year but are more prevalent during the summer and fall with August being the peak of the season. With this year’s warmer and drier than average weather conditions, along with the late arrival of the monsoonal rains, wildfire risks will remain significant as we move into the cooler fall days. Fire is a natural/necessary ecological process, but when we choose to live in that ecosystem, we need to do the best we can to prevent harm. Looking around your home, are you ready?
Many articles have been written recently by our Estes Valley Fire Protection District regarding preparedness. Creating defensible space around your home may not stop wildfires from destruction, but it will help to slow the fire down to give you time to retreat from the threat and firefighters a chance to address the fire. So what can you do to be ready for any wildfire threat? Observe your surroundings and begin to remove or relocate fuels that would support flames that would approach your home. Fuels such as trees, pine needles, pine cones, leaves, woodpiles, etc. Check-lists and other information about how you can improve your wildland-urban interface (WUI), a zone of transition between wildland and human development, can be found at www.estesvalleyfire.org/
The Estes Valley Watershed Coalition has joined efforts to help educate our Estes Valley community about the dangers of wildfires and are identifying fire mitigation projects with various agencies such as the Northern Water, the US Forest Service, the Estes Valley Fire Protection District and the Colorado State Forest Service. We invite the community to join us as EVWC hold wildfire prevention and preparedness events that are being planned in September. Details will be posted at www.EVWatershed.org and www.facebook.com/evwatershed or call (970) 290-1829 and speak to Wilynn Formeller, EVWC Development & Program Coordinator.