Published: March 9, 2023

wildfire in the mountainsLiving in Colorado, we are no strangers to wildfires. But what should you do when a fire happens? If you're new to Boulder or haven't experienced a wildfire before, this guide will help you be more prepared as wildfire season approaches. Wildfires can be unpredictable, so being informed is essential. 

According to KOAA, Colorado's wildfire season mostly aligns with the summer months, as the snow in the winter and spring months reduces fire risk. Boulder has signs posted at public schools and at entrances to canyons that describe the fire danger for the day. You can also check on emergency status updates.

According to Jasmine Barco, Assistant Director of Energy and Climate Justice Programs, one of the best things you can do is to know your neighbors. That way, if there was an emergency evacuation and you could not reach your home, you would have someone to contact. This is especially helpful if you have pets. Also, knowing your neighbors means that if anyone in the vicinity has mobility issues, you can help or call for help, and everyone can get to safety. 

Another way to prepare for a potential wildfire is to gather all of your important documents - like your social security card, birth certificate, passport and anything else that’s important or hard to replace - and keep them in one place that you can easily grab during an evacuation. 

You can also create an emergency kit in the case of evacuation. Your kit might contain cash, a change of clothes, medications or anything else you know you would need to have if you had to leave your home. Check out Ready For Wildfire for more ideas on what to include in your emergency kit. 

In the event of a fire, it’s also a good idea to have photos, videos or a list of belongings in your home. This will make it easier to be reimbursed by your insurance company if any of your personal belongings are lost.

It's important to follow any evacuation warnings; discuss potential meeting spots in case you get separated from other people in your household. 

Although wildfires can be scary, being prepared can make you feel more in control of the situation. Having your documents in one spot, making an emergency kit and following evacuation warnings can keep you and your household safe if wildfires ever come near your home.