Press release: Lake Dillon Fire reminds residents: Dig out your gas meters!



Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209


4 January 2017


Lake Dillon Fire reminds residents: Dig out your gas meters!


With a deep snowpack already on the ground and more coming, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue wants to remind residents to keep their gas meters clear of ice and snow.

Buried or ice-encrusted gas meters can create dangerous natural-gas buildups inside the house. The vent can become plugged when ice and snow melt during the day and refreeze at night.

“We have seen home fires and explosions due to snow and ice damaging a gas meter or the piping,” said Lake Dillon Fire Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal Steve Skulski. “It’s also important to keep the area around the meters clear from snow so if firefighters need access to turn them off, they can reach them.”

According to the Xcel Energy website: “We recommend keeping the entire meter assembly clear of snow and ice as well. Accumulated snow can prevent the meter from operating properly by stopping the flow of natural gas. Gently remove snow or ice from the natural gas meter and any associated piping. Carefully shovel around a meter and move snow away from it. Avoid using a snow blower near a meter. Always keep a clear path to your gas meter to allow quick access in an emergency. A snow-covered meter, in addition to being potentially dangerous, can also lead to a loss of service and freezing of inside pipes as a result of lost heat.”

To avoid problems, fire authorities suggest these important tips:

  • Make sure your meter is visible and accessible at all times
  • Never kick or hit the gas meter or its piping to break away built-up snow or ice
  • Keep air supply ducts and vents clear to avoid obstructing the release of gas
  • Do not tie anything to the meter, including pets



In the photo, the arrow points to the meter’s gas pressure regulator vent. (Photo courtesy of Xcel Energy.)


If you do smell natural gas, propane or even suspect a gas leak, leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1. Stay out of your home until firefighters arrive and make sure your home is safe to re-enter. Gas buildup in a home can ignite with the simple flick of a light switch or furnace pilot.

Lake Dillon Fire along with Xcel Energy strongly recommend that you check your gas meter regularly to ensure it is free of ice and snow, especially if the meter is exposed to melting precipitation. If you notice ice on your meter or are concerned that the meter’s regulator vent may be blocked, please call Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-2999.



Press release: Firefighters encourage residents to “adopt a hydrant”




Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209


20 December 2016


Firefighters encourage residents to “adopt a hydrant”


With recent snowfall turning Summit County into its usual skier’s paradise, local firefighters are asking residents to “adopt a fire hydrant” and dig it out for access in case of a fire.


Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue personnel clear snow away from hydrants as time permits, but with hundreds of hydrants throughout Summit County, the task is gargantuan, and help from our neighbors is needed.


“In case of a fire, when minutes can mean the difference in saving a structure – or a life – being able to get to water is critical,” said Lake Dillon Chief Jeff Berino. “Digging out a hydrant during an emergency takes valuable time that we might not have.”


Berino suggested that residents should consider a hydrant closest to their home as a lifeline, requiring the simple maintenance of digging away snow left by natural accumulation and snow plows.


“The abundant snow is one of the reasons many of us have chosen to live here,” he said. “But it definitely can pose an obstacle to firefighters getting to a hydrant quickly. Helping us in keeping hydrants clear helps everybody in the event of a fire.”




CUTLINE INFORMATION: Summit County’s firefighters appreciate any help in clearing snow from hydrants to ensure easy and quick access in case of a fire. Credit: Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue

Press release: Lake Dillon firefighters extinguish condominium fire in Keystone



17 December 2016

Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209


Lake Dillon firefighters extinguish condominium fire in Keystone

dsc_0017-berinoAn apparent accidental fire Saturday evening caused significant damage in the Mill Creek condominiums in Keystone, but a sprinkler head kept it from spreading, and no one was injured.

Some 15 firefighters from Lake Dillon Fire responded to an alarm triggered by the sprinkler system about 7:15 p.m., and they were assisted by a crew from Red, White & Blue Fire of Breckenridge in extinguishing the fire. They were supported by two volunteers from the Lake Dillon Fire Corps.

The fire caused significant damage to two units and left two others with smoke and water damage. Keystone Resorts found alternative lodging for the people staying at the six-unit building at 56 River Run Road.

The fire apparently broke out in the concealed space between the third and fourth floors, and the initial focus of the investigation is on electrical wiring.

“Fortunately, everything worked as it should: A single sprinkler head kept the fire from spreading, and the alarm alerted the occupants. And, most importantly, the occupants heeded the alarm and evacuated the building immediately,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino.

A preliminary estimate of the total damage is between $400,000 and $500,000.


Press release: Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue offers tips for a safe holiday season




15 December 2016

Contact: Steve Lipsher, public-information officer

Office: (970) 262-5209


Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue offers tips for a safe holiday season

Each year during the holiday season, fires in the United States claim the lives of more than 400 people, injure 1,650 more and cause more than $990 million in damage. The team at Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue wants to ensure that local residents enjoy a safe and happy holiday period by taking a few simple precautions with their holiday decorations.

“There is nothing sadder than seeing a family displaced during the holidays, or worse, mourning the loss of a loved one at a time traditionally reserved for celebration,” said Chief Jeff Berino. “We encourage everyone to think safety first when it comes to creating a festive atmosphere.”

Here are some important safety tips:

Select fresh-cut Christmas trees. Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Place Christmas trees carefully. Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Keep Christmas trees watered. Christmas trees account for 200 fires in the United States annually, resulting in six deaths, 25 injuries and more than $6 million in property damage. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. To keep the tree hydrated, fill the tree stand reservoir twice a day with a mixture comprised of:

  • 2 gallons of hot water
  • 2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 ounces liquid bleach
  • 2 pinches epsom salts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Borax
  • 1 teaspoon chelated iron (available at garden shops)

Maintain your holiday lights. Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Do not leave lit holiday lights unattended.

Do not overload electrical outlets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.

Use only non-flammable decorations. All decorations should be non-flammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.

Never put wrapping paper in a fireplace. It can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers and may result in a chimney fire.

Avoid using lit candles. If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.

Never put lit candles on a tree. Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – candles, lighters or matches.

Dispose your tree properly. Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

Finally, as in every season, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call for help. And remember to practice your home escape plan.




2017 Board of Directors and Pension Trustees Meeting Schedule

2017 Board of Directors and Pension Trustees Meeting Schedule

August 16, 2016 Volunteer Pension Board Meeting Approved Minutes

August 16, 2016 Volunteer Pension Board Meeting Approved Minutes

October 18, 2016 Board Approved Minutes

October 18, 2016 Board Approved Minutes

Press release: Summit fire departments to conduct live-fire training in Silverthorne


For more information, contact:

Lake Dillon Fire public-information officer Steve Lipsher

(970) 262-5209


Summit fire departments to conduct live-fire training in Silverthorne


Summit County’s three fire departments will be conducting live-fire training at an abandoned house in Silverthorne starting next week.


Collaborating under the guidance of the jointly operated Summit Fire Authority, firefighters will be training in both the mornings and afternoons of Nov. 14, Nov. 18 and Nov. 21 at the house located at 1130 Blue River Parkway, across from La Perla and Murdoch’s.


Although some of the training will involve burning wood and other materials inside one of the homes, bystanders are not likely to see flames, and visible smoke will be monitored to ensure that it doesn’t affect traffic or local residents.


A short stretch of one lane of northbound traffic may be closed at times for the staging of fire engines, and motorists are asked to slow down and allow plenty of space when passing the site.


The house, one of three which are slated for demolition to make room for new condominiums, was made available for firefighter training by Travis Construction.


“This is a great opportunity for us to put our firefighters in an unfamiliar setting to test and teach them the skills that they need to remain sharp and safely conduct firefighting operations,” said Don Koogle, division chief for the High Country Training Center.


In addition to fighting fires inside a home, firefighters also will be performing simulated searches for missing occupants and imperiled firefighters, drilling on tactics such as roof ventilations, and practicing entry and escape techniques.



Press release: Change your clocks, change your batteries this weekend




2 November 2016



Steve Lipsher, LDFR Public-Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209


Change your clocks, change your smoke-detector batteries this weekend!


Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, and with that, Lake Dillon Fire is encouraging citizens to change their smoke-detector and carbon-monoxide batteries when they change their clocks.

“We want to remind residents that one easy step can help save their lives and the lives of those around them,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Jeff Berino. “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.”

Even “hard-wired” smoke detectors that are plugged in to the home’s electrical supply typically have a nine-volt backup battery to keep the detectors operating in case of a power outage. Often they will “chirp” when the batteries are dying – that means to change the batteries, don’t disconnect or disable the devices!

When changing batteries, make sure to test the audible siren by pushing the button; check that the vents are clean and not clogged with dust; and check the manufacture date. Typically, smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years, and carbon-monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years.

Both smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors should be placed on every level of the home as well as inside every bedroom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.

“Smoke-alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths,” Berino said. “Smoke detectors have been proven time and again to be the single most important life-saving device in your home.”

Most home fire fatalities occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most families are sleeping, and about 66 percent of them occur in homes without working smoke detectors.

In addition to changing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, Lake Dillon Fire encourages families to plan and practice a home-escape plan.