Press release: Lake Dillon Fire tackles string of wildfires in drying grass

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

1 July 2014

 

Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209

 

 

Lake Dillon Fire tackles string of wildfires in drying grass, braces for holiday weekend

 

Firefighters from Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue, assisted by crews from Copper Mountain Fire and Red, White & Blue Fire, worked Monday afternoon to extinguish three small wildfires along the Heeney Road.

The fires, which were reported shortly before 3 p.m., appear to be related and may have been the result of a faulty vehicle or mechanical activity, but no exact cause could be determined. Each was limited to less than an acre.

“The grasses are still fairly green down there and that helped keep the fires small, but we know that as we reach the hot days of summer the risk increases,” said Lake Dillon Fire Deputy Chief Jeff Berino.

With the Fourth of July weekend just ahead, officials at Lake Dillon Fire want to remind locals and visitors to be very careful with campfires. Never leave them unattended – even  for a minute – keep a way to extinguish the fire close at hand, and douse fires and stir the coals until they are cool to the touch. Additionally, it is your responsibility to know the dangers and the laws about fireworks: Essentially, if it flies or explodes, it’s illegal in Summit County, and local law-enforcement agencies will be vigorous in their pursuit of violators. Fireworks of any type are strictly forbidden in the national forests.

 

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Free wood-chipping program to roll through Summit County

wood-chipperThe Summit County Wildfire Council has arranged for free curbside wood chipping this summer throughout the county. This will be a great opportunity for property owners to dispose of branches, logs and trees up to nine inches in diameter for free to reduce the threat of wildfire encroaching homes.

Lake Dillon Fire is delighted that the chipper will be rolling through northern Summit County on the following dates:

July 28-Aug. 1: Town of Frisco and Copper Mountain

Aug. 4-8: Keystone, Summit Cove and Summerwood

Aug. 11-15: Dillon, Wildernest, Mesa Cortina, Ptarmigan, Silverthorne, Hamilton Creek, Three Peaks, Eagle’s Nest, Ruby Ranch

Aug. 18-22: Pebble Creek, Sierra Bosque

Sept. 22-26: Town of Frisco and Copper Mountain

Sept. 29-Oct. 3: Keystone, Summit Cove and Summerwood

Oct. 6-10: Dillon, Wildernest, Mesa Cortina, Ptarmigan, Silverthorne, Hamilton Creek, Three Peaks, Eagle’s Nest, Ruby Ranch

Oct. 13-17: Pebble Creek, Sierra Bosque

Please see 2014 chipping program flyer for more details on how to participate and acceptable slash.




Fake smoke, real training

Crews from Lake Dillon Fire, Copper Mountain Fire and Red, White & Blue Fire on 23 June 2014 participated in wildfire training in the Gold Hill neighborhood between Breckenridge and Frisco, the first of three days (all three shifts) in three parts of Summit County.

 

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PHOTO: Lake Dillon Fire returns fire-danger sign to highway median in Frisco

Lake Dillon Fire Capt. Kim McDonald, left, and fire inspector Roman Stachniw place the department's fire danger sign on the median in Frisco on Wednesday. Although official fire-danger forecasting has not yet begun for the season, the district already has seen its first wildfire this week. Now is a good time to remind everyone to be very careful with campfires, pile burns, ditch clearing and the use of spark-producing equipment near dry vegetation. It's also a good idea to refresh your evacuation kit, check for adequate property insurance and document all valuables, make copies of vital documents and irreplaceable family photos and store them somewhere else (the internet cloud, in a bank safety-deposit box or with a relative in another community). Finally, make sure everyone in your household knows a designated friend or relative in another community with whom you can check in, in case an evacuation is ordered and you all don't end up in the same place.

Lake Dillon Fire Capt. Kim McDonald, left, and fire inspector Roman Stachniw place the department’s fire danger sign on the median in Frisco on Wednesday. Although official fire-danger forecasting has not yet begun for the season, the district already has seen its first wildfire this week. Now is a good time to remind everyone to be very careful with campfires, pile burns, ditch clearing and the use of spark-producing equipment near dry vegetation. It’s also a good idea to refresh your evacuation kit, check for adequate property insurance and document all valuables, make copies of vital documents and irreplaceable family photos and store them somewhere else (the internet cloud, in a bank safety-deposit box or with a relative in another community). Finally, make sure everyone in your household knows a designated friend or relative in another community with whom you can check in, in case an evacuation is ordered and you all don’t end up in the same place.




Mount Powell Ranch wildfire 5 May 2014

Jim Donlon of the Pass Creek Ranch took some great photos of our fire crews — joined by those from Red, White & Blue, Copper Mountain, the High Country Training Center and the U.S. Forest Service — battling a small wildfire north of Silverthorne at the Mount Powell Ranch on 5 May 2014.

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Press release: Firefighters battle small wildfire north of Silverthorne

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Firefighters from Lake Dillon; Red, White & Blue; Copper Mountain; the High Country Training Center; and the U.S. Forest Service quickly quashed a three-acre wildfire north of Silverthorne on May 5, 2014. Credit: Jim Donlon.

Firefighters battle small wildfire north of Silverthorne

 

Date: May 5, 2014

 

Contact: Steve Lipsher                                                                                   Contact: Tracy LeClair

(970) 389-2967                                                                                                           (970) 423-8903

SLipsher@ldfr.org                                                                                     TracyL@co.summit.co.us

SILVERTHORNE – SummitCounty firefighters worked quickly into Monday evening to quash a small wildfire on a private ranch north of Silverthorne.

No people or structures were threatened by the three-acre blaze, which was burning in shrubs and dead-standing aspens on a hillside on the Mount Powell Ranch about 10 miles north of Silverthorne along Colorado 9.

Responding to the fire were about 25 firefighters from Lake Dillon Fire; Red, White & Blue Fire; Copper Mountain Fire; the HighCountryTrainingCenter; and the U.S. Forest Service. They were joined by another dozen representatives from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State Patrol, as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“Even though it’s early in the season, we take an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Summit County Sheriff John Minor. “We aren’t taking any chances.”

The fire was reported about 4:15 p.m., and by 7 p.m. firefighters had it about 20 percent contained and were optimistic going into nightfall that they would keep it at its current size.

A cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but it does not appear to be intentional.

Light winds allowed firefighters to work on containment, but they faced some hazards such as potential falling trees and occasional torching of trees amid the single-digit relative humidity.

Although early in the season — there are still patches of snow on the ground near where the fire was burning — the blaze at about 8,100 feet was not unprecedented for the area at this time of year.

“Fire season is here,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Dave Parmley. “We all need to begin that mindset of preparation and awareness, and don’t let the heavy snow of this past winter mislead you into thinking it’s going to be an uneventful summer when it comes to wildfire.” 

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The Fire Line, a Denver Post documentary

fire line

The Fire Line: Waldo Canyon, Black Forest and how wildfires are changing in Colorado and the American West

Four times in four years, wind-fanned flames raced through Colorado neighborhoods in and at the edge of dying forests, killing people and breaking records for destruction. And because more than 100,000 people in the last decade have moved into “red-zone” areas primed for conflagration by a century of fire suppression, no one is sure that the devastating fires of 2012 and 2013 will not be repeated.

See the documentary here.




The Black Forest Fire

Gripping video from the Pikes Peak Wildfire Prevention Partners on the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history that claimed two lives and destroyed nearly 500 homes. Why did some neighborhoods survive and how do fire fighters determine which homes can be safely defended? This video answers those questions.

 




Press release: All three Summit County fire departments send crews to Black Forest wildfire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

12 June 2013

 

Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209

 

 

All three Summit County fire departments send crews to Black Forest wildfire

 

Firefighters from Copper Mountain, Lake Dillon and Red, White & Blue fire departments were deployed on Wednesday to the 8,000-acre wildfire in the Black Forest northeast of Colorado Springs.

The crews, which could be out as long as two weeks, will help battle the Black Forest Fire that has destroyed or damaged an estimated 80 to 100 homes and forced the evacuation of some 7,500 people.

Copper Mountain sent Lt. Tim Schlough, firefighter/paramedic Russ Orton and engineer Mark Neilson in a Type VI four-wheel-drive engine. Lake Dillon sent engine boss Dennis Jackson and wildland firefighters Frank Towers and Aaron Ferdig in a Type III four-wheel-drive wildland engine. And Red, White & Blue sent Capt. Keith McMillan, Driver/Operator Tim Caldwell and Firefighter/Paramedic Terrance Campbell in a Type VI four-wheel.-drive engine.

When fire conditions locally permit them to do so, Summit County’s three fire departments are eager to send crews to wildfires in other areas. Additionally, the costs of firefighter pay and equipment typically are covered by the state and federal government through standard contracting agreements.

“The knowledge and experience our crews receive on these deployments is invaluable,” said Red, White & Blue Fire Deputy Chief Jay Nelson. “The crew returns with knowledge and skill that can be used in Summit County during a wildfire. Our commitment to the community is to ensure we have adequate resources available locally prior to sending resources on these deployments.”

The wildfire danger in Summit County is moderate but is expected to increase over the coming weeks as summer sets in.

“With our high temperatures, low humidity and winds, our fuels are rapidly drying out, so we need to be vigilant,” said Dan Moroz, code official/public-information officer with Copper Mountain Fire. “It’s time to get on those fire-mitigation projects you’ve been putting off.”

Lake Dillon Fire Chief Dave Parmley and Red, White and Blue Chief Jim Keating added that now is a good time for Summit County residents to put together an emergency evacuation kit to keep in their vehicles that includes clothing, toiletries – including daily medications – and non-perishable food and water for three days. It is a good idea to have copies of important documents, as well, and make sure that your property insurance is up to date and adequate.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of having a plan in case we have a fast-moving wildfire like those we’ve seen recently throughout the state,” Parmley said. “Talk with your family about how to get in touch and reunited with each other in case of an evacuation. Keep copies of irreplaceable photographs and vital documents on the internet cloud or on discs in safe-deposit boxes. And build defensible space of little vegetation around your home to lessen the likelihood of it being lost in a wildfire.”

For more information or to have a courtesy review of your fire plan and defensible space, please call your local fire department.

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Follow us on Facebook at Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and on Twitter at LakeDillonFire!

Register for emergency notifications at www.SCAlert.org.




Public meeting: Fire in our backyards! How wildfires behave and how that may affect you!

The Healthy Forest Task Force presents the next installment in its Homeowners Series: Fire in our backyards! How Wildfires Behave and How That May Affect You!

Wildfires are inherently unpredictable. Wildfire behavior can depend on weather, forest conditions, terrain and other factors. In Summit County, we are surrounded by forest lands and wildland vegetation. With drought conditions expected to worsen, none of Summit County is immune from the risk of wildfire or related impacts.  But we can learn from past fires like last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire. It is critical that Summit County property owners and visitors understand wildfire risk and behavior. Did you know… Feds project climate change will double wildfire risk in forests (Denver Post) Knowledge is power, and understanding wildfire behavior can be a matter of personal safety. Get smart about wildfire.
Wednesday, April 24, 7-8:30pm Frisco Community Center at 3rd and Granite

Lake Dillon Fire and U.S. Forest Service wildfire experts to speak and answer your questions

Our meeting leaders are U.S. Forest Service wildfire expert Ross Wilmore and Jeff Berino,  Deputy Chief for the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District. Berino has been actively involved in the fire service for more than 33 years, both combatting and investigating wildfires throughout the United States. He serves as an Incident Commander for the Summit, Northwest Colorado and Upper Colorado River Incident Management Teams. Jeff and Ross will help us understand fuel loading, structural triage, structural ignitability and wildfire behavior and what that means to Summit County homeowners. An important question to be addressed is how wildfire risk has changed with a hotter and drier climate, more logged areas, more down trees, less needles and branches, more grasses, and continued development in forested locations.
Want to learn more about wildfires? Check out the videos on the Forest Health Task Force homepage.
Tax Credit?! Unaware of Colorado Wildfire Tax Credit? You’re not alone. (Allstate Corporation) Get the details here.
Next up in the Forest Health Task Force Homeowners Series:
May 15th – Where to Build, Buy, and Live
June 19th (tentative date) – Preparing Essential Infrastructure and Services July 17th (tentative date) – After the Fire – Implications of a Radically Changed Environment


 August 21st (tentative date) – Real Life Homeowner Wildfire Experiences