How you can prepare to protect your family and home from fire
By creating defensible space, doing wildfire mitigation work, and performing routine maintenance around their homes, homeowners give firefighters and themselves the best chance to defend their property from wildfires. Within the City of Arvada, many homes would be considered a part of the Wildland Urban Interface, particularly on the City’s western portions. The Marshall Fire showed us that even if you don’t live right up to the mountains, most homes and homeowners would benefit from mitigation work.
This year, Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is held on Saturday, May 6. This national campaign encourages people and organizations everywhere to take action and reduce wildfire risks. To observe the campaign, here are a few action items you can consider:
- Clear needles, leaves and other debris from roofs, gutters, porches and decks
- Remove ‘slash’ or debris from vegetation around your yard by raking, moving, and trimming trees.
- Install metal mesh screenings in attic and crawl space vents to reduce potential wildfire ignitions
- Plan two ways out of your neighborhood and designate a meeting place before wildfire threatens your area
- Sign up for official emergency alerts by visiting lookoutalert.co.
You can find more resources and safety information at arvadafireco.gov/wildfire.
How firefighters prepare and respond to wildfires
In the spring, our firefighters go through an annual wildfire refresher training to prepare for the upcoming fire season. The training typically covers wildfire behavior, safety, and basic skills wildland firefighters use while deployed.
Wildfire firefighting is one of our four special operations and Arvada Fire personnel, equipment, or a crew can be requested for deployment to wildfires outside our district. All our firefighters have an incident qualification card, also known as a red card, which is one certification required to deploy to an incident.
When a large fire occurs that overwhelms the available resources from a local area or region, fire officials request additional resources from other regions using national dispatch centers. Before we allow any of our own resources to deploy, we ensure services in our community won’t be compromised. Local tax dollars are not used to fight fires outside of our service area. An invaluable benefit to deployment is that our firefighters gain essential skills and experience that they bring home.
Last year, Brush 58 deployed to Texas on five occasions. During the historic 2020 wildfire season, Brush 58 deployed for 14 weeks to incidents throughout the west. Although we are hoping for a safe and calm wildfire season in 2023, our Wildland Team will be ready if called upon.