DENVER, Colo. – Gov. John Hickenlooper has officially proclaimed this Saturday, May 6, as “Wildfire Preparedness Day” in Colorado as communities across the state come together to prepare for wildfires and take actions to reduce their wildfire risk. The proclamation, which dedicates a day to engage communities in focusing on activities that create awareness, education and action to reduce potential deaths and property losses through their preparedness efforts, coincides with the 2017 National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day.
“Wildfire Preparedness Day is a reminder that we all need to have an understanding and awareness of the wildfire risks,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “Think about preparation on two levels – one is your personal preparedness to evacuate, and the other is getting your home as ready as possible to withstand a fire. I want to encourage people of all ages to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes your community a safer place to live.”
The National Wildfire Preparedness Day, which falls on the first Saturday in May each year, is organized by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – an international nonprofit established in 1896 to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on quality of life by providing resources that are adapted by many states, including Colorado.
This year, Colorado led the nation in having the highest number of communities receiving 2017 NFPA funding awards to implement projects on May 6, with 24 of the 150 national awards coming to the state. The winners of the $500 project funding awards are listed on the NFPA site.
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) works together with NFPA to implement the Firewise Communities/USA® program in the state, and provides technical assistance and education to interested landowners, homeowners and communities to help them take action and ownership in preparing their homes against the threat of wildfire. Wildland fire management in Colorado is an interagency partnership among local, state and federal agencies across the nation. As a lead state agency, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) works with local, state and federal agencies to coordinate wildland fire management on a statewide basis. The ultimate goals of the agencies working together are resilient, fire-adapted Colorado communities and firefighter and public safety.
Examples of Colorado’s 2017 Wildfire Preparedness Day projects include neighbors working together to “chip” previously cut trees, remove slash and flammable woody debris, distribute wildfire safety information to others and practice evacuation drills. Events are taking place on Saturday in communities across the state, including near Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Durango. The CSFS, DFPC, U.S. Forest Service and many local organizations will be assisting communities across the state with their Preparedness Day projects.
For more information about National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, visit www.wildfireprepday.org.
May 6 Event Details and Contacts
- Colorado Springs – Cheyenne Mountain State Park fuels reduction/wildfire mitigation, by Colorado Springs Fire Department with the help of youth volunteers. Contact: Jeremy Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Boulder – Chautauqua Park wildfire preparedness public outreach event, by Boulder Fire Department. Contact: James Carpenter,email@example.com
- Fort Collins – Rist Canyon education event to meet local EMTs and learn about Firewise principles and creating defensible space, by Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department in collaboration with the CSFS. Contact: Louise Creager, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pueblo/Custer Counties – Slash collection events in the San Isabel/Beulah and Alvarado Campground areas, by the Middle Arkansas Wildfire Prevention Partnership. Contact: Amy Daniels, email@example.com
- Durango – Falls Creek Ranch wildfire risk reduction work, in collaboration with the CSFS and FireWise of Southwest Colorado. Contact: Paulette Church,firstname.lastname@example.org
- La Veta – Tres Valles West brush clearing and removal by homeowners; “Ready, Set, Go!” discussion by the La Veta Fire Protection District. Contact: Steve Keppers, 303-979-7154
Interactive NFPA map with all communities that have mapped their projects for 2017: http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/national-wildfire-community-preparedness-day/map-your-project