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.
What is CodeRED™ and what is it used for?
CodeRED is a web-based critical communication solution that enables local public safety personnel to notify residents and businesses by phone, text message, and email, of time sensitive information, power outages, emergencies, or urgent notifications.
What is theCodeRED mobile alert app? The CodeRED system uses the geo-location of your cell phone to provide you an alert when traveling. The alert you receive from the mobile app is not the same alert you get for an alert involving your home. They are separate functions of the system. If you set up your cell phone for your home, you will get those messages. Using the mobile alert, you will get messages that do not involve your home when your travel through an area that received an alert. For example, a wildfire in Jefferson county may include the roadway you are traveling on, as you enter the alert area your cell phone will receive that alert.
It is highly recommended that all residents sign up for their County’s free emergency alert systemCodeRED.
This system alerts registered residents of critical, large-scale emergencies in the area via reverse 911 and/or emails, and texts. Think about your most vulnerable in our communities and be sure they are signed up for notifications too. It is suggested that ALL household members with a cell phone sign up for CodeRED, including LatchKey Children, Teenagers, Caretakers, and Babysitters. You can help your elderly residents to sign up, while helping them make an evacuation plan for their specific needs.
Park County – Parkco.us type in search box “CodeRed Sign up.” In an effort to reach more citizens during an emergency, Park County now uses the CodeREDEMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM. With this system, citizens can enter their own data and choose how they would like to receive the notification. Not only does this ensure a more accurate database, but also allows residents to input an unlisted number, their cell phone number, or any other secondary phone numbers. This will create a more robust database and reach more residents with essential emergency information. It is recommended that you enter all household cell and landline numbers.
In Park County. A CodeRED message will have the caller ID of 866-419-5000 for emergencies and 855-969-4636 for non-emergencies.
Burn Bans and Red Flag Warnings
What makes Platte Canyon Fire Protection District go into a Burn Ban? A red flag warning! Below is the National Weather Service’s definition of a red flag warning and what the weather must be like to have a red flag warning. Red Flag WarningDefinition: Informs land management agencies of the imminent or actual occurrence of Red Flag conditions. A Red Flag Warning will be issued when there is high confidence that Red Flag criteria will be met within the next 24 to 48 hours, or when those criteria are already being met or exceeded. A warning may be issued for all, or portions of a fire weather zone or region (Platte Canyon Fire District is in zone 216). Zones impacted by the event will be listed within the Red Flag Warning product. Criteria: A combination of weather and fuels conditions (as determined by fire management) for any 3 hours or more in a 12-hour period. These criteria for the forecast area of the Denver/Boulder NWS office are defined as the following: 1. Frequent gusts of 25 mph or greater – AND relative humidity of 15% or less 2. Dry thunderstorms (15% coverage or more, constituting an LAL 6.) OTHER FACTORS: In addition to the basic criteria above, a combination of other elements may result in Red Flag Conditions:
Haines Index (humidity in the air) of 5 or 6, indicating a moderate or high potential for large, plume dominated fire growth.
Wind shifts associated with frontal passages.
First significant lightning event (wet or dry) after an extended hot and dry period.
Poor relative humidity recovery overnight (RH remains at 40% or lower.)
Any combination of weather and fuel moisture conditions which, in the judgment of the forecaster, would cause extensive wildfire occurrences.
If a fire were to occur on a red flag day, it would be very difficult to suppress, the fuels are ready to burn and just need an ignition source.
Fire Danger Ratings, what we see on our Smokey Bear signs, are determined by the National Fire Danger Rating System coming from the Pueblo Interagency Dispatch Center.
For Very High Fire Danger, but not Red Flag, or in other words, No Burn Ban is in effect is when the above criteria from the National Weather Service does not have all the criteria met to be in a Red Flag Warning. Basically, hot, dry, and windy.
What actions should I take in response to a Red Flag Warning. Consider this to be your first warning of possible fire danger. Tag Large animals for release if necessary Bring deck cushions inside Stow BBQ propane tanks and doormats away from your home Prepare Pet Carrier(s) include food and medications. Set out and check your Go Bags. Gather personal medications. Hook up trailers. Load documents and other valuables Make sure gas tank(s) are full and vehicles are pointed out.