In light of the current wildfires burning in Colorado, I wanted to make you aware of unique resource in our area. Lyons Prepared is a volunteer citizen partnership with the Lyons Fire Protection District that was formed after the 2013 flood to help us all become better prepared to help each other deal with any future emergencies and disruptions.
Our mission is to work with residents and visitors within the Lyons Fire Protection District to:
==Support neighborhood emergency preparedness.
==Strengthen our ability to communicate well during an emergency.
==Enhance relationships between our fire district and surrounding communities and Boulder and Larimer County emergency planners.
Each neighborhood region within the district is displayed on a map along with the volunteer for that area under the “More” tab on the website. We also have an extensive list of emergency preparedness guidance links and documents on the website.
Here is the link to the Colorado State Forest Service document “Protecting Your Home from Wildfire: Creating a Wildfire-Defensible Zones”. Their local office is on Highway 66 just east of town. This is a well written comprehensive guidance to understanding and creating a defensible space around your home. The more we prepare our properties individually and as a community, we better chance we have to decrease the damage to this beautiful area, the environment and amazing wildlife.
I asked Kelsey Lesniak, a Forester with the Colorado State Forest Service “What can we do right NOW to protect our home in case a wildland fire starts near us?” She recommended the following proactive mitigation steps:
==Remove any organic material (pine needles, branches, leaves, or any flammable debris) that might be found at the base of your home, under a deck or in your gutters.
==This will help reduce the amount of fine fuels that are in contact with your home, in case hot embers get blown to your house from a nearby fire.
==Keep grasses surrounding your home mowed to a height of 6 inches or less.
==Trim any ‘ladder fuels’ (any fuel that can carry a fire that is burning in low-growing vegetation up to taller vegetation, ie. low hanging limbs, shrubs/junipers growing under the canopy of a mature tree, etc) to about 6-10 feet from the ground, if possible. This will help keep fire on the ground from spreading into the canopies of surrounding trees.
==Dispose of any slash or excess debris from tree or shrub thinning and mowing, but use extreme caution when mowing or using a chainsaw in hot, dry conditions.
==Be sure to stack firewood at least 30 feet away from your home, preferably in the uphill direction from home.
These recommendations are only the starting point. Their website has extensive information on how to better protect your home, property and the forest at https://csfs.colostate.edu. You can also contact them directly at: Colorado State Forest Service, Boulder Field Office, 5625 Ute Highway, Longmont, CO 80503, 303-823-5774, CFSF_Boulder@mail.colostate.edu
Please take a look at the information above and seriously consider what you can do now to protect your property. If you need help connecting with your Lyons Prepared neighborhood representative or want to become involved in our organization, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are neighborhood regions in the district in Lyons that do not currently have a representative!