Message from the Chief
As we finally move away from the 2020 wildfire season, I have been thinking a lot about what the future holds for us here in the Glacier View Fire District. The fires we experienced this year are an alarming demonstration that we are in a new normal. These fires will be more frequent and more severe. While we escaped a direct hit from the Cameron Peak Fire, we know from the High Park Fire how devastating a direct hit can be. The fires in Boulder, Mesa, Garfield, and Grand Counties, as well as southern Wyoming in recent months drive this home even more. So, what is the fire district going to do next year? First, we are going to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. This will identify with a high degree of detail our wildland fire risk and identify strategies for reducing that risk. It will help us develop specific actions that we can take as a local fire district, actions we can take in cooperation with others, and actions we can take to support efforts at state and even national levels. Second, we are going to evaluate all of our wildfire related equipment, training, programs and relationships. One outgrowth of this year’s fires is our growing relationship with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Service Unit, Larimer County Emergency Management, the North 40 Mountain Alliance, and our neighboring fire districts. New funding from the mill levy increase approved by the voters in 2018 is already earmarked in the 2021 budget for more training, increased volunteer firefighter membership and improvements in wildfire apparatus and equipment. We also hope, pending the restrictions of the COVID pandemic of course, to provide increased resident education through our Firewise Program. Now, what can we all do as residents and property owners? Mitigate, mitigate, and mitigate some more. Thinning and removing hazardous vegetation is absolutely critical to reducing wildfire risk. It not only reduces the risk to our own homes; it reduces the risk to neighbors and the community as a whole. A good place to start is with the Firewise program, https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Preparinghomes-for-wildfire. In addition to controlling hazardous fuels, there are many actions we can all take to harden our homes against fire exposure. Use extreme caution with outside fire. We have been under fire ban for many months and I expect this will be an annual approach during the high-risk months, maybe even more. Wildfires caused by open fires for recreation, cooking, slash removal, trash burning, and agriculture are common. Even when we are not under an open fire ban it’s your responsibly to follow all open burning precautions. If you can avoid open burning please do so. Be prepared. Being prepared for a wildfire is critical for your safety and the larger community. In the last year we have endured four evacuations. Having a plan for evacuation and subscribing to the NOCO Alert notification system (https://nocoalert.org/) are important actions you can take to be prepared. The Larimer County Emergency Preparedness Guide is a great resource, https://www.larimer.org/sites/default/files/lc_preparedness_guide_digital.pdf.
Respectfully, Warren Jones, Fire Chief
“Together We Succeed”