LAKE CITY, CO., (May 25, 2018):  With our current forest conditions, please consider taking action immediately to prepare for wildfire season.  

1)    Keep track of any fire restrictions in your County or in any area you are traveling to (especially as it relates to outdoor recreational activities).  A Red Flag Warning is a forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service that conditions are perfect for wildland fire combustion, and rapid spread of a wildfire if one does start.  Stage 1 Fire Restrictions limit open fires, trash and agricultural burning, fireworks or explosives, and limit where cigarette smoking is allowed.  

2)    Take photographs of every room in your home to provide documentation for your home insurance carrier.  Email off these photographs to your agent.  

3)    Create a wildfire emergency evacuation kit.  Gather as many of these items as you can ahead of time and place them in an easy-to-identify bag or box in your home.  For those items you can’t pack ahead of time, consider putting a “Other Items to Take” list to post on the refrigerator so you do not have to think through what to take when a pre-evacuation or evacuation notice is issued.  Suggested items include:  3 days-worth of non-perishable food and 3 gallons of water per person; at least two days of change of clothing; extra eyeglasses or contact lenses; prescription medicine along with a printed copy of the prescription; extra car keys, credit cards, cash or checks; a first aid kit and flashlight; battery-powered radio and extra batteries; personal toiletry supplies; copies of important documents; pet food and water; cell phones and charges; and computer hard-drives.  If time allows, you may want to take easily carried valuables and family photographs (it may be helpful to scan and store off-site family photographs and documents).     

4)    Determine where you will evacuate to – in multiple directions if necessary – and communicate your plans to one out-of-area family member or friend.  Make sure your entire household and family and friends know who this one person is that you will be communicating with and write down this telephone number (don’t rely on cell phone contact information as cell phone services are often down or overloaded during an event).  Talk with your household and neighbors about what should happen during an evacuation.  Sign up for the local reverse 911 notifications (different counties use different systems).  Check your County’s website.  

5)    Find out how to improve the defensible space around your forested home and neighborhood and either do the work or hire a local contractor https://csfs.colostate.edu/wildfire-mitigation/