October Wildfire Awareness Month logo 

Wildfire Awareness Month


On September 6, 2011, the one-year anniversary of the Fourmile Canyon Fire, Boulder County declared October as Wildfire Awareness Month. The idea for the month-long awareness campaign came from citizens of Boulder County who understood the need for more education, stronger community involvement, and greater individual responsibility toward community wildfire protection. Clear Creek, Douglas, Jefferson, and Larimer counties have also declared October as Wildfire Awareness Month.

Activities during October teach residents about wildfire mitigation and encourage homeowners to take action to prepare for future fires. Previous guest speakers at Wildfire Awareness Month events include Dr. Stephen Quarles of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, a national leader in building science and wildfire research.

Schedule of Events

Fire on the Mountain: Four Years after the Fourmile Canyon Fire

Date: Sunday, September 28
Time: 10 a.m. – noon
Location: Bald Mountain Scenic Area; 5 miles west of Boulder on Sunshine Canyon Drive (Mapleton Ave. in Boulder city limits)
Join volunteer naturalists for a moderate one-mile hike to learn about the natural role of fire in ponderosa pine ecosystems, and to see evidence of the September 2010 Fourmile Canyon fire. We will observe how this ecosystem has recovered so far, and also keep an eye out for signs of wildlife along the trail. Contact Larry Colbenson at 303-678-6214 or lcolbenson@bouldercounty.org for more information.

Fire Prevention Week

Dates: October 5 – 11
Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month! The Great Colorado Fire Drill: Practice your home escape plan, www.greatcoloradofiredrill.org

Forestry Work Project

Date: Saturday, October 11
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Location will be given to registered participants
Volunteers are needed to build slash piles from mechanically-thinned forestry projects on county open space properties. These efforts improve wildlife habitat, decrease fire danger, and enhance meadow ecosystems. Minimum age is 10 with adult supervision. To register please visit: www.BoulderCountyOpenSpace.org/wildwork. For more information please contact Shane Milne at 303-678-6089 or smilne@bouldercounty.org.

Hike: Healthy Forest Ecology and Wildfire Mitigation Tips

Date: Saturday, October 18
Time: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Nederland Community Forestry Sort Yard, 291 Ridge Rd, Nederland
Join us for fun and informative “hike” exploring the forest at the Nederland sort yard. We will focus on how to properly manage your forest so it is healthier in the long-term. When cutting it is easy to make simple mistakes that could cause long-term forest health issues on your land. Blending the “art and science” of good forest management is key to your success. We will also talk about fall time wildfire awareness tips. As the leaves drop and the grasses turn brown it is an important time to not let your guard down.

Prescribed Fire: Heil Valley Ranch, Boulder County Open Space

The Boulder County Parks and Open Space and Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Wildland Fire Management Program plan to conduct a prescribed burn at Heil Valley Ranch this fall. The prescribed burn will cover 156 acres and will be located around the Wapiti and Ponderosa Loop Trails. map 
When: The exact date of the burn is weather dependent, but could occur anytime between October 25 and December 31. Active ignition operations will take place over three to five days.
Closures: Expect park and trail closures at Heil Valley Ranch during active ignition days. There will be fire crews on scene 24 hours per day performing mop-up operations and monitoring until the fire is called out. Park visitors will be required to stay on trail during mop up operations.
Staffing: The prescribed burn is located in the Lyons and Lefthand Fire Protection Districts. Boulder County and City of Boulder Wildland Fire Crews, along with numerous federal and local fire departments will be conducting the burn.
Notification: Public notification is required 48 hours prior to the burn. If you are a Heil Valley Ranch neighbor, or a frequent park visitor, you can sign up for an email notification. Contact bcforestry@bouldercounty.org or 303-678-6211 for more information, or view the press release.

What Is the Future of Colorado’s Forests?

Date: Tuesday, October 28
Time: 6 – 8 p.m.
Location: University of Colorado-Denver, Lawrence Street Center, 2nd Floor Terrace Room, 1380 Lawrence Street, Denver
The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization recently released a report titled “Rocky Mountain Forests at Risk: Confronting Climate-driven Impacts from Insects, Wildfires, Heat, and Drought.” This event, hosted by the Wirth Chair in Sustainable Development at CU Denver, will feature a panel discussion regarding the report and its implications for Colorado’s forests.

Waldo Canyon: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Date: Thursday, October 30
Time: 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Location: Boulder County Regional Fire Training Center, Boulder Reservoir, 5565 N. 51st St., Boulder (To reach the Fire Training Center, drive through the Boulder Reservoir’s main entrance, continue past the recreational facilities, and drive to the end of the road where the center is located.)
The Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs killed two residents, destroyed 346 homes, scorched 18,247 acres, and forced more than 30,000 people to evacuate. At the time it was considered the worst wildfire in Colorado history. Brett Lacey, Fire Marshal of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, will share lessons learned from the fire line in his presentation “Waldo Canyon: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." A dynamic speaker, Fire Marshal Lacey is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and is a registered professional engineer and safety professional. He has worked in the fire service for over 34 years serving in the ranks of firefighter, paramedic and engineer up to his current position.

Community Chipping Events

View October Wildfire Awareness Month Chipping Calendar for more information and event details.

Wildfire Mitigation Information

For the most up-to-date information about Wildfire Awareness Month events and activities, contact Jim Webster at 720-564-2641 or jbwebster@bouldercounty.org.


Land Use Wildfire Mitigation

Main: 303-441-3930
Fax: 303-441-4856

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