(COLORADO SPRINGS)— Colorado is already in the cross hairs of wildfires as heat creeps up and fire danger remains high this week.

We often hear about Red Flag Warnings, fire containment, fire lines and much more lingo. But what exactly do these mean during an active wildfire?

Fire season lasts year round in Colorado, but on certain days, crews with the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) are on high alert for fires to potentially spark. When Red Flag Warnings go out, fire crews gear up for what could be a busy day.

“If you see a smoke or if you see fire, don’t assume that somebody has already called. We want you to call 911,” said Captain Mike Smaldino, CSFD.

A Red Flag Warning is the highest weather alert for extreme fire behavior with a combination of dry, windy and hot conditions. These are prime days for fires to start and spread rapidly.

Once a fire is burning, containing the flames is the first priority. When crews say they’re working on containment, they are referring to stopping the fire’s movement and growth.

“Containment means that we have a line that’s built. We’re confident that the fire is not going to get past that line. Our whole goal is to hit the fire hard and fast,” said Smaldino.

Once crews have a boundary around the fire, it cuts off any fuel for it to grow, meaning it’s contained. But even 100% containment doesn’t mean the fire is put out.

Instead, containment means the fire isn’t spreading. Once a fire is completely contained with a barrier around it, the fire can still burn for days or even weeks. Sometimes it takes a rain or snow to fully put out a contained fire.

Click here to learn more fire facts and ways you can prepare yourself and your home for wildfires.

“If we have a wind shift, it might come back onto that area and burn right past that. And now we’re back down to 0% containment again. So that’s why you start seeing those numbers go up pretty slow on those bigger fires,” said Smaldino.

Fire lines help crews get closer to a quick containment by digging down to the dirt so there’s no vegetation to burn up. Once control lines wrap around the fire, crews watch hot spots that could reignite.

“You’ll see us in a monitoring phase after the fire might be 100% contained, making sure that there isn’t a chance that any sort of ember can come from one side of the fire and go into the area that’s unburned,” said Smaldino.

The fire department encourages you to sign up for Peak Alerts, which will notify you of emergencies, fire alerts and evacuation updates in real-time.

But preparation starts before a fire happens, from home mitigation to signing up for alerts to stay up to date with the latest during an active fire.