Wildfire season grows closer every day.
As May is upon us, multiple local and federal agencies are asking Coloradans to be more alert throughout Wildfire Awareness Month, which begins Saturday.
"Wildfire is a concern for all communities and our entire state, and all of us need to be a part of the solution," said Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control Director Mike Morgan.
"We are calling on those that live, work and play in Colorado to help reduce the impact of wildfires by being vigilant, respecting fire restrictions when they are in place, and doing your part to protect your property from wildfire."
Colorado is coming off one of its most active wildfire seasons to date, which included the state's three largest fires ever.
Due to below-average snowpack and an ongoing drought throughout much of the state, there is an increasing chance of another disastrous season, officials said in a joint-statement from DFPC, Colorado State Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service.
Officials are encouraging communities and residents to do their part to reduce the chances of wildfire by doing the following:
- Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves 5 feet from the home, as well as under decks, porches, sheds and play structures
- Remove leaves and needles from roofs and gutters
- Sweep porches and decks clear of any burnable plant material
- Move firewood piles at least 30 feet from the house, preferably uphill
- Transfer items under deck or porches to storage area
- Cover any exposed eave or attic vents with 1/8-inch metal mesh screening
- Ensure home address signs are clearly visible from the street
- Contact your local Office of Emergency Management to register for emergency notifications
- Confirm at least one alternate path out of your neighborhood other than the one most commonly used and be prepared for potential evacuation requiring the alternative route
"Accomplishing these simple tasks will increase the chances your home will survive a wildfire," said Mike Lester, state forester and director of CSFS. "Not only will you be preparing yourself, your home and your family for a potential fire, you'll be giving a leg up to firefighters who may be called to protect your home."