A Life Askew

Bumbling Through One Day At A Time

They Called it Wildfire, And Not the Pony

Right now, all anyone is talking about, well, that I know, has been the fires here in Colorado.

I suppose that could be because I’m here in Colorado.  Point is, it’s a common topic.  It’s talked about, it’s on the news and it’s got everyone jumpy about another one starting any time, any where.

One town, so far (that I know of), has cancelled their firework display this year.  In addition to making sure the residents don’t put on their own…

However it is sad, and terrifying, and awful to see these fires burning up parts of our beautiful state.  I’m pretty heart broken about this.  Colorado is supposed to be known for it’s beautiful mountains and forests, and yuppies, not fires!! Right now, being worried for all those evacuating, and those waiting to hear if they need to has replaced being anxious for camping and rafting trips.

We should all be out hiking and fishing, instead we’re watching the news and being saddened by the homes being burnt down.

However, what saddens me the most is watching the videos of the homes burning and seeing how it could have been slowed, if not prevented altogether (not the fire, the burning of the homes).

SO, what I thought I’d do was explain a few things you can do to help keep your home safe.

One of the tips on a website, dedicated to helping the various agencies work in tandem in case of fires (and has been used for other disasters as well), was this, “Landscape vegetation should be spaced so that fire can not be carried to the structure or surrounding vegetation. ”

An elderly gentlemen I know had a fire near his property not too very long ago and was told, “Sir, if you want to keep your house, you’re gonna have to cut down the trees around your house.  About 100 feet out.”  He said, “Listen here, you little whipper snapper, I like those trees right where they’re at, and if my house burns down I’ll just build another one!!”  (Okay, the conversation was dramatized, a little, but you get the gist.)

That that means is clear the trees, bushes and various shrubbery (you’ve gathered by threat) away from your house so there is an area with nothing that will burn.  Common sense would dictate that, especially when there are strong conditions for fires, that you keep the ground between the house and vegetation well watered to keep it from burning very well.

Which means, “A garden hose should be connected to outlet.”  Keep water easily accessible.  Cause, I don’t know about you, but if a fire is licking at my yard, I don’t want to spend 20 minutes untangling the hose, dragging it to the house, mis-threading it 27 times before I get it screwed on right, and then fighting with the stupid spigot because it takes 7,000 lb.s of pressure to turn the stupid thing.  Just fighting with the spigot will be sure to waste more than enough time to put me at risk of heart failure.

“All combustibles such as firewood, picnic tables, boats, etc. should be kept away from structures. ”  Again, if it will burn, you probably don’t want it next to your house.  Makes sense though, no?

Obviously, these things aren’t a 100% guarantee that your house will be safe, but it can help the firefighters to concentrate on other areas of fighting the fire, like, oh, I don’t know, putting it out.

If you want to protect yourself 100% against fire, you should live in Antarctica.  Or an igloo, I don’t think they’re particularly flammable.

Other common sense preventions are:

Don’t throw cigarette butts, cigars, roaches, lit pipes (even if the cops are behind you, consider jail time a sacrifice for the safety of many), torches, flares or children out the window.  The last one won’t start a fire, it’s just bad parenting.

Don’t shoot off fireworks in dry conditions, you jerks.

Last but not least, make sure you know what fire restrictions, if any, are in place if you’re going to be out in the woods.  “I didn’t know!” won’t rebuild my house when you burn it down ’cause you wanted s’mores.  If you share the s’mores I won’t hold it against you though.

If you’re interested in helping supply the fire fighters, I believe Red Cross is making sure they’re fed, clothed, showered and supplied.  In addition, right now, there are tons of collections being taken for aid purposes.  So, hand over the loot!  There are people who are losing everything right now!!!  $5 could make all the difference to these folks.  And, if it were you I’d bet you want people to be doing the same.  You know I’m right, go give a fire fighter some money!  Well, not directly, those guys are hot, but they’re shifty…

And last but not least:  Please pray, cross your fingers, do a dance, wish, hope or anything else you can think of that this poor part of the country will get enough rain to help put out the fires that are going nuts all through Colorado, Utah, Montana, New Mexico, Idaho and every where else!!!!

That is it.  Hopefully this will either be entertaining or informative.  I hope it helps.  Following are a bunch of links for you.  Check them all out.  ALL OF THEM.

These information on fire prevention and awareness:

http://www.nifc.gov/prevEdu/prevEdu_main.html

That site is where I got my quotes for prevention from.  They also have a lot of information on current fires, safety info, and links for specifics on each fire nationally. That is only a small part of what is to offer on their site.

http://www.smokeybear.com/

This site is an oldy, but a goody.  They have easy to read info and activities to help kids learn more as well.

http://www.inciweb.org/

This is another that is offering specific information on the fires, evacuations, road closures, and shelter locations.

 

Should you want to make donations to help aid the firefighters or shelters here are more links for you:

http://www.coloradoredcross.org/detalle_noticias.asp?SN=200&OP=210&id=12198&IDCapitulo=Q4Q26NY21N

http://helpcoloradonow.org/

http://www.kvue.com/news/Austin-area-wildfire-donations-129263013.html

http://www.jewishcolorado.org/

http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_20951962/how-assist-colorado-wildfire-victims-how-donate-and

http://www.rcvfd.org/


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