DENVER — Ahead of "extremely dangerous" fire conditions for eastern Colorado Friday, public land agencies are reminding Coloradans to recreate responsibly to prevent wildfires.
The National Weather Service in Boulder says the wildfire threat will continue Thursday after several fires on Wednesday, including one in Monte Vista that destroyed several structures.
After windy, and warm weather all week, winds on Friday across the area are expected to be sustained between 25 and 40 miles per hour out of the south, with gusts between 40 and 60 mph. The NWS Boulder has issued red flag warnings that will be in effect from 11 a.m.to. 9 p.m. from the foothills all the way across the Eastern Plains.
Boulder Fire-Rescue, along with many agency partners, are working to be as prepared as possible for any potential fires on Thursday or Friday.
On days like Friday, when fire danger is extremely high, the city increases its staffing of wildland capable firefighters and engines, Boulder Fire-Rescue said. It works closely with county agencies to coordinate the strongest response possible in case an incident grows to the point when a single department would need 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," the agency said. "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."
Ahead of the extreme fire danger Friday, public land officials are reminding anyone who plans to visit public lands to exercise caution to prevent wildfires.
Here’s what they say you should know before you go:
- Know fire regulations and fire bans that apply to the area you plan to visit. Officials will issue citations to anyone who violates fire regulations.
- Be prepared for a visit to public lands by creating a plan, keeping a trail map handy and considering alternative routes you can take to leave the area. Check Colorado Trail Explorer for trail maps and critical advisories.
- Check the weather forecast and have a plan in place for adverse weather or emergencies. Consider not visiting public lands during adverse weather conditions.
- Make sure your phone is charged in case you need assistance or there is an emergency, though it’s important to remember cell service may be extremely limited in mountain locations.
- Bring enough food and water for your trip and wear appropriate clothing and shoes for possible changing conditions.
- Stay alert when on the trail, be aware of your surroundings and always stay focused on what’s around you for changing environments and natural hazards that may be present.
- Call 911 if there is an emergency, such as a fire starting or if you see smoke. Try to text 911 if you don’t have enough cell service to get a phone call through.