Returning Home Tips
Incident: High Park Fire Wildfire
Fire personnel continually assess conditions in and around communities to allow re-entry to residents as soon as it's safe to do so. The fire has changed the environment around your home and community; please be cautious regarding existing hazards.
Firefighters have a lot of work to do and need your cooperation to do this as safely and efficiently as possible for everyone's benefit.
You can help by:
- Limiting your driving by preplanning your needs and going directly to and from your residence.
- Driving slowly with your headlights on. Visibility can be very poor making it more dangerous to be on the roads.
- Not stopping to take pictures or to watch the fire. This can cause accidents and block traffic.
- Restricting driving to day light hours; no traffic after dark.
- Limiting activities to the immediate vicinity of your home.
- Keeping pets under control at all times, for their protection as well as others.
- Parking as far off the road as possible so firefighters and other vehicles can safely travel the road. Fire crews and other service responders need clear access in case of an emergency.
- Being aware that areas of unburned vegetation and hot spots will continue to burn for quite a while. Not every smoke needs to be extinguished. Small smokes surrounded by black areas are not a threat. This is typical of timber fires. UNNECESSARY smoke reports will divert firefighters from where they need to be.
- Limiting fire reports to threatening flare-ups that occur within 50 feet of the fire line or a structure. Please call Larimer County non-emergency line at 970-416-1985. Provide the dispatcher with an accurate description of the area of concern and location.
Watch out for:
- No phone service: Fire officials will not be able to contact you of a re-evacuation order should it be necessary.
- Downed power lines and poles: Stay away and do not touch them.
- Following a fire, it is common for burned trees and rocks to dislodge and roll down slopes without warning.
- Firefighters conducting burnout operations ahead of the fire, they may not realize you are in the area. Make sure fire or law enforcement know you are there.
- Firefighters dropping hazard trees along the roadside.
- Helicopters and airtankers dropping water and fire retardant.
- Entering burned areas as hazards may still exist. Hot spots can flare up unexpectedly and ash pits can cause severe burns to people and pets.
- Residual heat from the fire when working around your home and wear leather gloves and boots to protect hands and feet.
- Wildlife being pushed into areas where you do not normally see them. Encounters with bears may occur if trash services have not resumed - firefighters have observed bears, coyote and fox throughout the incident.
- Spoiled food: Dispose of it as soon as possible in bear resistant dumpsters. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office will be providing dumpsters for spoiled food in various locations, please do this quickly as they will be removed shortly after residents are allowed to return.
- Contaminated food and water: Dispose of any food that has been exposed to smoke, soot or heat. Never use water you think may be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or baby formula.
For more information please contact the Larimer County Health and Environment Department at 970-498-6700 or www.larimer.org/health.
There are fire bans and restrictions in place that need to be observed.
Please respect all U.S. Forest Service trail, road and area closures.