These tips will help you prepare for an evacuation in case of wildfire

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416 Fire. Credit: Fort Lewis Mesa Fire Department

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. — The 416 Fire north of Durango has forced people in at least 825 homes to evacuate.

The La Plata County government has put together valuable information for anyone who might face evacuation from a wildfire. The tips appear below.

The following steps can improve your safety and expedite departure should an evacuation become necessary. San Juan Basin Public Health also has extensive resources to plan for evacuation and emergencies.

Inside the house:

  • Gather medications
  • Pack a bag with clothing and essentials
  • Shut off air conditioning and fans
  • Shut all windows and doors before leaving
  • If you have time, gather paperwork and photographs that cannot be replaced

Outside the house:

  • Gather flammable items and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.)
  • Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters.
  • Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
  • Don’t leave sprinklers or water running; this can affect critical water pressure
  • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
  • Back your car into the driveway with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.

Animals:

  • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
  • Prepare livestock for transport and plan to move them to a safe location early
  • Pack food and medications for your pets
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