Traveling to Colorado During Wildfire Season? What to Know Before You Go.
Currently, Colorado is witnessing a lot of wildfires. We are seeing a fire that is the third largest in the history of Colorado Wildfires and many homes have been lost in the wake of it all. And that alone could make anyone cancel their plans to visit Colorado this summer.
And while in some areas it is dangerous, you can still come and visit Colorado and enjoy your time here. But keep in mind, we Colorado people are serious about fighting these fires and need the support of the visitors who travel here to enjoy a nice Colorado summer.
Below are some information to be made aware of and ways you can take part in fire mitigation and prevention while you enjoy your time in Colorado.
What Wildfires Are Active Now?
The fires currently active in Colorado are the Burro Fire, 416 Fire, Spring Creek Fire, Chateau Fire, Weston Pass Fire, Buffalo Fire, Sugarloaf Fire, Chedsey Fire, and the Badger Creek Fire. Info on these fires is updately regularly and we are seeing major improvements on containment for many of these fires. These are current as of July 4, 2018, but the information below will be useful to all visitors who plan to come in later years.
Getting Wildfire Information
The Incident Information System is doing pretty well with updating this website with the recent news of the wildfires and what we are doing to contain them. If you are an out-of-towner looking for info, then that is the place you need to go.
Understanding Colorado Fire Bans
Many places are under fire bans in Colorado because we are experiencing severe droughts along with our wildfires. But what do the fire bans mean to out-of-state visitors who don’t experience frequent wildfires? According to Colorado.gov, there are three stages of fire bans, stage three being the worst. To get more information on fire ban restrictions, refer to this short PDF of info.
Who Can I Call to Get Info About Fire Bans?
Calling the local County Sheriff’s Office of the area you are traveling to is the best idea. They can give you the information you need about traveling to this area during wildfire season. You can ask them any questions or communicate concerns you have for traveling to Colorado, camping, or what have you. To see the complete list of County Sheriff Offices in Colorado and the numbers you should call to get info, go here.
Is it Safe to Travel to Colorado Right Now?
Honestly, yes, but you should use caution, especially if you are camping. While there are many wildfires happening in the state, there are also many places in Colorado that are wildfire-free. If you’re planning a trip, refer to the Incident Information System to see if your already planned trip to Colorado is being affected by wildfires, Please also make sure to contact the County Sheriff Office in the area if you need more info.
Planning Your Trip to Colorado During Wildfire Season
If you are planning to camp out here, I’m really talking to you. Our wildfires are a serious matter, so being careful to honor whatever fire ban is enforced in the area you’re staying in is incredibly important. Much of the time, this means no open fires (we really hate to harsh the s’more making groove, but it’s for your safety and ours). Make sure to bring a fire extinguisher with you in the case you have to put out a flame on your camp stove.
Avoiding Campsites or Areas with Deadwood
Many of the trees in our forested areas having been consumed by a tree eating beetles or other insects that are a disease to our plant life. There are many types that we are concerned about and that frequent areas of Colorado, and you can learn more about the insect types in Colorado here. Some of these insects consume the insides of trees as their food leaving them as deadwood, which creates a major fire hazard for Colorado forest areas populated by campers.
How You Can Help
We currently have hundreds of firefighters working their hardest on impossible terrains to put out these fires. Many have lost their homes, relocated their animals & livestock, and need supplies to get through these next few days, weeks, or even months. And there is a way you can help. If you love this state and you want to see it live on, you can make donations here.
We love our visitors just as much as we love our locals and we would hate to see them miss out on our wonderful state. Doing your part as a visitor to help us stay safe during a dangerous part of our year helps us keep a joyful state for you to come back and visit in future years.