Community members have been asking us about how they can keep up to date in real time regarding wildfire incidents that potentially affect the Bailey Area. Specific questions were raised at the November 3, 2018 meeting on the new North Park County Community Wildfire Protection Plan in development about the wildfire at the Harris Park shooting range this past summer. A few residents living within five miles of the incident expressed concern that they should have received evacuation notices but heard nothing from any official source regarding progress of the fire.
Joe Burgett, Fire Chief at Platte Canyon Fire Protection District, explained that every wildfire is different and orders to evacuate, or to prepare to evacuate, are given based on the specifics of each fire. Evacuation orders are usually given in stages, to avoid the chaos that would result if all residents in a large area tried to evacuate at once. In the case of the Harris Park shooting range fire, the specific conditions of that fire called only for a one half mile evacuation circle.
How can residents keep up to date in real time about a wildfire incident? Here are several resources for you to follow:
1. InciWeb. This website tracks all wildfires throughout the United States with specific information on each fire. Find it at InciWeb - The Incident Information System website.
2. Park County Emergency Alert System - CodeRED. Sign up to receive emergency alerts on your phone(s) - land lines and cell phones - at Park County CodeRED.
3. Park County E-Mail and Text Notifications. You can sign up to receive email and/or text notifications on a long list of topics, including wildfires, burn bans, sheriff's office activity, and hazardous weather. Go to the Park County website to sign up.
4. My Mountain Town. This is a terrific source of information on all kinds of emergency topics for Conifer, Pine, Bailey and Fairplay. Go to the website and check it out. There is a link to Inciweb (see above), Code Red (see above), as well as many other helpful links. For those of you with smartphones, My Mountain Town has a mobile app you can download at tiny url.com/MMTMobileApp to receive emergency alerts on your phone.