A buddy of mine who owns a local fire mitigation company sent out the following email to his friends in Durango. He said I could share it, just as long as I don’t give out his contact info because he has been slammed with calls since the beginning of the 416 fire. He said this is not a time to panic, but that it is prudent to think through these points now, rather than wait until the unlikely event that you and your family is evacuated from your home.
Hope you find it useful.
The County just put stage 3 restrictions in place. This is rare. A number of indices are used to measure wildfire risk and virtually all of them need to be in an “extreme state” in order for stage 3 to be in place. From my point of view, it is getting as dry as I have ever seen it. When it gets this dry, fire just happens.
An example: This morning (6/12/2018), a chain dragging from a trailer started 7 separate fires along HWY 160 along Durango West 2. If this had occurred in the afternoon, the fires likely would have gotten away and we would likely need to evacuate quickly.
It is time to prepare for the possibility that we here in Durango may need to get out fast. When I say fast, I mean an hour or maybe less. A few things if you haven’t already.
-Register your (and your loved ones) cell numbers to the Code Red notification system using the La Plata County Web Site.
-Prepare a ‘go bag’ with important documents, medications, etc.
-Make a list of what to grab and what not to. “Please do not assume that you will have the time or frame of mind to make good decisions regarding what to bring. These decisions should be made ahead of time and should only include that which is irreplaceable” (Chief Doughty).
-Fill your vehicles with Gas.
-Have some extra water and food (3 days is recommended) and don’t forget your pets food.
-Take the time to think about special considerations that may be unique to you.
-Communicate to your family about your location and your plans. Have a meeting place set up in case you get separated and don’t assume that you will have cell service (cell towers can get overloaded during evacuations).
The latest meteorological reports indicate that we may be looking at stage 3 for the next 5 weeks so we’ve got a bit of a haul here but it will rain eventually!