Weather conditions all over Colorado resulted yesterday in a rash of fires in many areas of the state, at least four of them considered large fires, with the Black Forest Fire and Royal Gorge Fire destroying homes and damaging infrastructure in the past 24 hours.
In the case of Black Forest, a resort and retreat area known as La Foret was surrounded by fire forcing evacuation of owners and guests. My NFPA colleague Cathy Prudhomme and I were there on May 4 in support of a pilot Wildfire Preparednes Day of Service in Colorado. As I learned of the fire last evening, I wondered how many of the people I'd met and places I visited would be affected. I also reflected on the fact that so many people kept fire in mind and were willing to set aside a day or more of their time to voluntarily reduce the risk.
We set aside a special day on May 4 to help Coloradans focus on wildfire preparedness. But it's true that any day, any time, is the time to prepare for wildfire when you live with the risk of this natural phenomenon. The time is now if you are preparing your summer cabin for the season. The time is now if you are completing your spring cleaning and landscape maintenance. The time is now even if you are anxiously awaiting word on status of evacuation. There are things you can do now that can help to save your property, your valuables and your life. The time is now to take action to make your home, family and community safe.
Use mapper above to zoom to locations where there are Firewise Communities/USA sites and active fires. Data on fires supplied by MODIS interagency system, updated every 24 hours.