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Valley-Hi Ranch Estates homeowners association WILDLAND FIRE INFORMATIONAL MEETING w/ Assistant Chief Joe Page, Elk Creek Fire Protection District

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Valley-Hi Ranch Estates homeowners association WILDLAND FIRE INFORMATIONAL MEETING. w/ Assistant Chief Joe Page, Elk Creek Fire Protection District. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Valley-Hi Ranch Estates homeowners association WILDLAND FIRE INFORMATIONAL MEETING

Valley-Hi Ranch Estateshomeowners association

WILDLAND FIREINFORMATIONAL MEETINGw/ Assistant Chief Joe Page, Elk Creek Fire Protection District- Our wildland fire problem- Overview of wildfire firefighting- Elk Creek Fires role- Notifications / Evacuations- Preparedness- Individual effort- Community effort- Q & ATHE FIRE PROBLEMThe problem is that weve chosen to live in a fire prone area.Fires have and will continue to impact our community.masterFRONT RANGEWILDFIRES1980 to 2010

Fires have been most prevalent near where people live and play;The National Forest campgrounds and near our homes.

LARGE Fire History1900 to 2011

Notice how little dark and lite blue you see?Thats fire activity from 1900 to 1959.

Im afraid to see what 2012 alone will look like.

masterFront Range fire numbers have increased by 500% over the last 4-decades.

master

So why are fires increasing in both numbers and size?Warmer, drier conditions.Fire suppression prevents the natural forest clean-up.More people = more fire starts.Less logging = more tress.Forest health (beetle kill, fungus, over crowded).Per Jack Cohen, USFS ResearcherIn some ecosystems, such as ponderosa pine forests in the western US, the reduction of fire occurrences has resulted in significant changes to the species composition and increases in the amount of live and dead vegetation. Furthermore, it has been shown that aggressive fire suppression over many years has changed vegetation fuel structures. This has produced fuel accumulations and arrangements that have enhanced the potential for extensive areas of high intensity wildland fires experienced in recent years.masterBitterroot 1909

masterBitterroot 1958

masterBitterroot 1989

As the build up of forest vegetation increases so does the stress on our forests as the trees compete for sunlight, water, and other nutrients.

As forest health suffers, tress die and we get the increased potential for large wildfires.Beetle KillThere is a lot of information out on the web about the pine beetle problem.

Im sure not an expert but what Ive been hearing lately is that due to our shorter warmer winters the beetles are now having two reproductive cycles per year. So were now seeing an expediential population growth in the beetles population.Healthy trees can withstand the beetles normal activity.

The combination of unhealthy forests and the epidemic of beetles is leading to disaster.

When the trees are dead the beetles are long gone.1st Dead dry needles will allow fire to move easily from the ground into the tree canopy above.

2nd After the needles fall theyll increase surface litter also standing dead trees create a danger tree issues for firefighters.

3rd When the dead trees fall we have dangerous snags and heavy dead and down which is much harder for firefighters to deal with.Beetle Kill Wildland Fire Problems

master

OAK BRUSHburns hot and fastmasterDense Conifer forests burn so hot that it can kill the trees and the surface vegetation.

masterAn open Conifer forest often burns less intensely, the trees survive, and the surface vegetation is cleaned up and often comes back stronger look at the Meyer Ranch area.

ASPENS

Live aspen trees tend not to burn due to the amount of moisture in their leaves.

Aspen groves often act like a fire break slowing fire spread.

Ive planted aspens around my house

CAUSES OF WILDLAND FIRELightningPower linesRailroads & other machineryIllegal burning (debris)House or car firesMismanaged camp fires & other legal burnsArsonHow do we fight wildland fires?1st Prevention, but we cant prevent all fires.2nd Get-em while theyre small, hit the fire hard and fast. (Local fire departments)3rd Anchor, flank, and pinch

LIFE SAFETY is always our top priority!

Well risk a lot to save a life.We risk a little to save property.We risk nothing to safe life or property already lost.

Key factors contributing to all wildfires:FUELSTOPOGRAPHYWEATHER

masterSome fires grow so huge that firefighters cant fight the fire so we remove fuels ahead of the fire and/or we treat the fuels ahead of the fire

Firefighter actions on large fires:- help evacuate those in the path of the fire- provide structure protection for as long as we can- cut fire breaks out in front of the fire if possible- use slurry on the vegetation to retard the fire spread - work at night when RH is high and fire activity is low- secure fire lines along the black burned area- burnout controllable areas out in front of the fire- get in fast after the fire front passes

Elk Creek Fire Protection DistrictWe are a mostly volunteer combination fire department staffed by 6-full time firefighters working in three teams of two on the 48/96 shift. Plus the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal and myself who also respond to emergency incidents. Currently our roster has about 65 volunteer firefighters. All our firefighters are trained and certified in:Structural FirefightingEmergency Medical ServicesHazardous Materials response Rescue Operations (MVAs / Rope)and Wildland FirefightingAll our volunteers are toned to all emergency calls.During the Lower North Fork Fire we requested and received help from all over the country.Since the Lower North Fire small teams of Elk Creek Firefighters have helped out at other large fires in Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

Elk Creeks Tender 462 operating at the Squirrel Creek Fire in the Medicine Bow National Forrest just west of Laramie WY.

Yes thats a C-130 dropping slurry in the background.Our biggest problem during a wildland fire is EMBERSHow many of you saw the u-tube video from the Lower North Fork Fire of the family driving out?

EMBERS start spot fire out in front of the fire front. Sometimes a mile or more ahead. Embers impede evacuations.EMBERS are what burns down most homes!

STRUCTURE PROTECTIONStructure Protection is when firefighters go into a neighborhood out in front of the fire to do speed mitigation around peoples homes, prep the home, and put out as many spot fires as they can until its too unsafe for them to stay.

NOTIFICATIONS Reverse 911 aka EPN (Emergency Preparedness Network) is a recorded phone call to landlines and registered mobile phones within a given area.

Jeffco SOs going door to door, sometimes firefighters too.

Your neighbors

Jeffco Sheriffs blog / Pinecam / 285Bound / local radio

DONT WAIT to be told, if you feel threatened GO!

EVACUATIONSREADY SET GO!Level 1: READY! There is an incident in the area. If you need extra time due to special needs leave now. There are no road closures at this time.

Level 2: SET! This is a mandatory evacuate notice, get out now. Reentry into the area will not be allowed. You may take time to gather things but at your own risk.

Level 3: GO! NOW this is a life or death situation.PLAN be readyFEMA, Park County, and Jefferson County all talk about a 72-Hour kit.

Thats for flat landers were mountain people and must be ready to survive on our own for a week without power

Food, water, first-aid kit, medications, etc.Remember the big snow?Plan to be evacuatedthe 5PsPeoplePetsPillsPhotoPapers, important

Have a plan follow the plan!Why do houses burn? How to I protect my house?Look around your house after a wind storm and see where the pine needles and pine cones are thats where the EMBERS will be too.

master

Flammability of some common decking materials:BoardWalk 25Redwood 70TREX 80 (YEP!)Douglas Fir100Ponderosa Pine154Rhino Deck169

DO YOUR RESEARCH ! master

Flammability of some common siding materialsHardie plank 0Polystrene 7Gypsum 9Treated Doug fir plywood 17Cedar 70Doug Fir plywood 91T1-11 sidling200WHAT CAN YOU DO?START!

Far too often when people feel a task is too overwhelming they just give up.

Theres the old saying, When you ask for 100% you often get 0 Im not here to tell you to cut all your trees or rebuild your house out of concrete, many of the little, simple, cheap things will make huge differences.

Prepare an evacuation planWhat are you going to take if you have:30-minutes, 15-minutes, 1-minute to GO?

Where are you going to meet if you are separated from your family?

What if your kids are in school?

Do you have a neighbor who needs help?

MITIGATION- Take responsibility for your home and property.- Display your house number- Work on your defensible space, start at the house and work out a little more each year- clean gutters and under decks- keep grass and shrubs away from the house- cut your grass, limb up tree branchesWork with and help your neighborsStart a Firewise USA CommunityShared RiskSo many of our homes are so close to each other that they share defendable spaces.

Homes downhill from yours will have a huge impact on the fire load youll see

Roads, escape routes, water supply issues are common to everybody in the communityOther groups who help usJefferson County Type-3 IMT

Jefferson County Animal Control works with:

Large Animal Rescue Group (HEAT)

Small Animal Rescue GroupUSEFUL LINKSwww.elkcreekfire.orgwww.evergreenfirerescue.comwww.firewise.orgwww.jeffco.uswww.wildlandfireRSG.orgwww.projectwildfire.org

Yep I do work a littleQUESTIONS?