Not “if,” but “when”: Don’t be caught off guard by wildfires

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COLORADO — Warm, dry air, and rising temperatures are a dangerous combination that can lead to disaster.

Caley Fisher works with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and says every year wildfires burn across the US and every year more and more people live in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI).

“About 45 million homes are destroyed, and they intermingle with the wildlands. More than 72,000 communities that large are at risk,” according to Fisher.

And if that’s the case we need to always be prepared.

“A lot of times, it’s not if it’s going to happen, but when it’s going to happen,” Fisher said. “You see what’s going on in our state right now, and there’s a lot of people being evacuated, so it’s so important for you to prepare ahead of time.”

With major wildfires burning across Colorado, it’s important to think ahead.

“Developing an emergency evacuation plan and practicing it with everybody in your home is huge too. So, everybody, it’s ingrained in your head, you’ve trained for this you’re ready to go,” Fisher said.

Kathy Hook is the Fire and Life Safety Educator with the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD).

“Know two ways out, know that meeting spot, know where your families are going to go, even if you don’t live right in the WUI, you need to have a plan,” Hook explained. “If there is a bunch of emergency personnel going that way and a bunch of people coming out of that way, you too need to have a plan of how you’re going to evacuate if things progress to where you live.”

A go-bag is also important.

“It’s a great idea to know what cannot be replaced: important documents, life insurance, policies, titles to things, what is your insurance going to be in the event you will not be returning, anything that is going to be hard to replace, make sure that that is going to be packed,” said Hook.

To make sure you’re getting the best information, you can register with Reverse 9-1-1 or the Emergency Notification System through El Paso County.

“Know what that plan is for your pets, for yourself, for your family,” Hook added.

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