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Everything is back to “normal”

chiefglennlevy_workingTimberline Fire Protection District

By Chief Glenn Levy

This was a pretty tough fire season and we are glad that our weather and moisture levels are getting back to normal. It is still pretty dry out there and we are currently in our fall fire season. We must continue to be vigilant even this late in the year. I know…it never seems to end.

We all know about the horrible wild fire in Nederland, and we had a few near misses ourselves. While we were helping our neighbors during the Cold Springs Fire, Timberline crews were also in the Magnolia area patrolling, evaluating homes, and developing plans should the fire jump Boulder Creek and burn in Timberline’s district. It actually did in a couple of places, but was quickly dealt with by the crews on the fire. We also had fires in our own district stretching our resources thin. I am continually grateful to our neighboring response agencies as they are always there to help when we need them.

Because of the warm, dry, windy weather, much of our summer fun was impacted by the implementation of fire restrictions or bans. I want everyone to know that putting a burn ban or restriction in place is a tough decision and not one taken lightly. A great deal of science and math go into the decision and Colorado law is pretty specific what conditions must be in place before a restriction or ban can be considered. I am excited to report that all fire bans and restrictions have been lifted in the Timberline Fire District.

On behalf of your Timberline firefighters, I want to thank all of you for your support of Timberline. This past summer was a very busy one for all of us, and it was the first time in many years that our district was at serious risk due to a wild fire. I know it was scary for many of you. Because of the busy fire season, we have discussed operational changes that will benefit the entire district. While you may not see many of them directly, please be assured that you and your property are at the forefront of our mission. During the spring of next year, I would like meet with any HOA, POA, or community group that is interested, to talk about the 2017 fire season. We would like to help you prepare in the event a fire impacts the Timberline District as well as explain the anatomy of a wild fire. Essentially, explain how we all work together during a response and help you understand what happens inside the fire/evacuation area. I think it is important for you to know how we respond to fires and provide you a glimpse of the complexity of these incidents. If you’re interested in setting up one of these meetings, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Let’s get it on the calendar I am also planning on holding a couple of community meetings as well.

As you may not know, Timberline is a volunteer organization and we are always looking for folks who are interested in helping serve the community. It is a lot of work, but the rewards are pretty amazing. We not only respond to fires, but all types of incidents to include medical emergencies. Our folks are pretty amazing, so please consider giving me a call to find out more about us.

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a chill in the air with the mornings reminding us that fall is in full effect.  With the cooler weather comes the need for many of us to throw a log on the fire, something we haven’t done for many months. Now that we are back to normal, we have to remember a new normal. Over the past several months because of a fire restriction or ban, we have become accustomed to not seeing those all too familiar columns of white smoke coming up through the trees and smelling smoke in the air. Because there are no restrictions, we will again start seeing and smelling smoke and that can be a bit worrisome and I get it. If you ever have any concerns that the smoke that you see or smell is not from a fire place, stove, or an approved fire ring, please never to hesitate to contact us to check it out.

Remember, in order to have an outside campfire in Timberline’s District, the fire cannot be more than 3’ x 3’ x 3’ and be in an “approved” fire pit. While we don’t approve fire pits, the intent is to ensure that a fire cannot leave the pit regardless of the conditions. Information on fire pits can be found on the Gilpin and Boulder County web sites as well as on Timberline’s web page.

Many of you have been clearing your property and will be looking to burn your slash piles this winter. Remember, you must get two permits to be able to burn slash; Colorado Department of Health and either a Gilpin or Boulder County burn permit. Timberline will need to inspect your piles and complete the burn permit before you can burn and there must be snow on the ground. Please allow us four days to schedule an inspection. To find out more about the burning regulations, please go to our web site and click on the “Wildland Fire/Burn Permits” tab or give us a call.

Enjoy the end of the beautiful colors of fall and may your season be filled with great health, laughter, and safety.

You can email me at glevy@timberlinefire.com, call the office at 303-582-5768 or my cell phone 719-310-5840. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TimberlineFPD/ or go to our website at www.timberline.com.

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