Spring Fire Safety

As many you witnessed a couple of weeks ago, it appears the spring fire season is already upon us. While we watch the snow fall on the mountains around us, the valley has seen little significant moisture this winter. This newspaper said in an article earlier this week there had been below average moisture for the last 6 months. Don’t let the little bit of snow we received on Monday night fool you. It is really dry.
Not only has Colorado’s spring fire danger increased, there have already been significant wildland fires in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona this year. With the increased dry conditions, I wanted to take a moment and remind you about the season and controlled burns.
Within the City of Salida there is no open burning with the exception of a campfire in your back yard. Even campfires can be dangerous and they must meet certain requirements to be legal.
Outdoor burning in Chaffee County is legal, but it must be in accordance with Chaffee County Ordinance No. 2006-02. Many of these outdoor fires need to be permitted to ensure the burning can be accomplished safely. This permitting process can be accomplished by the respective fire chief in your area. Before lighting your fire you must contact the Sheriff’s Office (539-2596) and your local fire station to ensure you can burn on that day due to weather conditions and number of burns allowed in the county. Remember if your burn required a permit, you burned on a no-burn day or you did not ensure the fire stayed within its boundaries you could be liable for any damages that occur. If you have any questions regarding the burn ordinance contact your local fire chief.
The South Arkansas Fire Protection District has received a fire mitigation grant from the Colorado State Forest Service to assist you in protecting your home from a wildfire. If you are interested in this program contact Captain Chris Bainbridge at the fire station for more information.
It is also time to change your smoke detector batteries. On Sunday, March 13 we set our clocks ahead. This is a great time to change the batteries and clean your smoke detector. With thanks to a grant received by Chaffee County Fire Protection District, we have some additional smoke detectors we can install in your home if you need one. We also will change your batteries for you, you just need to call the fire station at 539-2212 to make arrangements.
Don Taylor
Fire Chief