Picture of a wildfire

Living in Colorado, we are no strangers to wildfires. But what do you do when fires happen? For those new to Boulder, or those who may not have experienced wildfires before, this guide will help you be more prepared as wildfire season draws nearer. These topics can be hard to discuss, but being informed is essential. You never know what will happen, especially when it comes to wildfires. 

According to KOAA, Colorado's wildfire season mostly aligns with the summer months as the snow in the winter and spring months keeps the fires at bay. Boulder has signs posted at the public schools and at entrances to the canyons that describe the fire danger for the day. You can also check on emergency status updates here (this is an excellent site to bookmark!). 

According to Jasmine Barco, Assistant Director Energy, and Climate Justice Programs, one of the best things you can do is know your neighbors. This way, if there were ever 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 be prepared is to get all your documents, like your social security card, birth certificate, passport, and anything else that’s important and hard to replace, in one place so it’s easy to grab during an evacuation. Keeping these documents in your freezer might also be a good idea. It may sound strange, but in the event of a fire, the freezer may be the safest place. 

You should also create an emergency kit in the case of evacuation. This may contain some cash, an extra change of clothes, medications, or anything else you know you would have to have in case you can’t get to your home. Check out Ready For Wildfire for more information on what you have in your emergency kit. 

In the event of a fire, it’s also a good idea to have photos or videos of your apartment. This will make it easier to be reimbursed by your insurance if any of your personal belongings are lost. Also, follow any evacuation warnings and have some meeting spots in mind in case you get separated from other people in your household. 

While 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.