LETTER TO EDITOR: Fire chief offers tips for upcoming wildfire season
April 17, 2014
Colorado's 2014 wildfire season is upon us, and your firefighters at Windsor Severance Fire Rescue are prepared.
Over the winter our crews utilized their vast skills and abilities on-shift to update and refurbish our 1999 Brush truck, saving taxpayers approximately $50,000. Brush 1 has rejoined Brush 2 and Brush 3 along with our two water tenders and three pumpers. Most importantly, our career and volunteer members have all renewed their wildland red card training and are ready.
The question is are you?
Regardless of the peril, be it a medical emergency, hazardous materials incident or fire risk, we depend upon a prepared and responsible public to avoid emergencies or reduce their impact when they do occur.
Even at this early date and with relatively good moisture we have had a dozen calls for brush fires since January. When we witness the historic and tragic fires in the high country, many underestimate the wild firerisk here in the plains. Windsor Severance Fire Rescue's district has many of the same risks of fire load, difficult terrain, and potential for life and property loss as the high country. In fact each year we have structures lost or damaged and injuries to humans, livestock and pets as a result of grassfires, and we have already seen some occurrences in this early season. Our fires typically start from controlled burns, carelessly discarded cigarettes, downed power lines, lightning, barbecues and recreational fires, fireworks and occasionally children playing with matches.
Many of these causes are preventable, and the impacts of the natural occurrences can be mitigated with preparedness. Keep fields mowed and ditches and fence lines clear of tumble weeds, create a "defensible space" for your buildings and landscape with "FireWise" landscaping materials. For a guidance on landscaping and preparedness, please take the time to visit http://www.firewise.org. We will place a link on our website at http://www.wsfr.us and be sure to follow up on our Facebook and twitter pages for updates and real time community information. You may also visit any of our fire stations for information.
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Here's to a safe 2014 wildfire season!
Herb Brady, Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Fire chief