LONGMONT, Colo. (KDVR) — High winds are increasing fire danger along the Front Range last week and into this week.

Firefighters say residents should be aware of ways to control risks at home and when traveling.
Members of the West Metro Fire District conducted training exercises on Sunday, emphasizing that high winds combined with dry conditions greatly increase the risk of wildland fires.

“As we saw with the Marshall Fire, even though it was December and now we’re into February we can have dried-out grass, we can have wind that can carry fire and embers, “ Lieutenant Scott Martin said.

It’s important to refrain from activities that can cause sparks to be carried by the wind. Trash burning, campfires, bonfires and the use of cutting torches and outdoor electrical equipment should be avoided.

Drivers should exercise caution and responsibility as well. Firefighters cite cigarettes tossed out of windows and sparks from vehicles dragging chains as other hazards.

West Metro Fire said homeowners should practice fire mitigation.

“We recommend not having firewood piles up against your house try to keep them out away from the house at least 30 feet away,” Martin said.

West Metro provides an online fire risk assessment map. The National Weather Service provides risk assessment information for other areas.

Fires can be prevented with the use of safety measures.