Over the past few weeks, Boulder Fire-Rescue, along with many agency partners, has been working hard to be prepared for and respond to any potential wildfire starts in the area. While we are prepared every day, we pay special attention to high wind and Red Flag days such as what is predicted to occur tomorrow, on Friday, April 22.
Since the start of the year, there have been 11 Red Flag days in Boulder County. Red Flag warnings are when the National Weather Service predicts conditions that could lead to dangerous wildfire growth. When these days are declared, it is important that our community is especially cautious with any activities that could start a fire. Open burning is never allowed within city limits. On Red Flag days, open burning becomes prohibited in additional areas nearby, such as the entirety of Boulder County.
On days where there is an increased risk of wildfire growth, the city intentionally increases its staffing of wildland-capable firefighters and engines. Boulder Fire-Rescue works closely with agencies throughout the county to coordinate response capabilities in case a large incident grows to the size where any one department would need additional help. On these days, you may see fire personnel patrolling the neighborhoods in wildland firefighting trucks or moving engines to different locations to best meet response needs. Increasing staffing also helps ensure that the department will have firefighters ready to respond to all emergency calls in the city that may occur on any given day.
While it is impossible to predict an actual wildfire start, the city’s firefighters are highly trained in how to respond quickly to any type of emergency. When big incidents do happen, life safety is the number one priority. Community members can do their part by paying attention to information distributed by local agencies such as Boulder Police, Boulder Fire-Rescue, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, and Boulder Office of Disaster Management (ODM).
The city strongly encourages you to sign up for address-specific evacuation notices on Everbridge if you have not done so already. This can be completed via the link on ODM’s website, found at: https://www.boulderoem.com
Boulder can strive to be “fire-safe” as a community during these stressful times. Avoid any activities that may cause a fire spark, such as mowing your lawn or parking your car in tall grass. Know what you would grab and where you would go if you had to evacuate. Remember that if you are feeling unsafe due to a fire nearby, it is always ok to leave and move to a place where you feel safer.
For more information on what individuals can do to prepare for and mitigate fire risk at their homes and in their community, please visit Boulder Fire-Rescue’s Wildland Fire Guide: https://bouldercolorado.gov/guide/boulder-fire-rescue-department-wildland-division