DENVER (KDVR) — The Marshall Fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes in Boulder County in December of 2021. The Pinpoint Weather Team says weather conditions Friday could create extreme wildfire danger.

The Problem Solvers want to help you be prepared if a wildfire sparks in your area.

Preventing wildfires

There are several steps that can be taken to prevent wildfires. Here are some important tips from the National Weather Service:

  • Do not light campfires, bonfires, candles or anything else that could blow over and start a fire.
  • If you smoke, be sure to extinguish your cigarette or cigar before disposing of it. Never throw a burning item out a window.
  • Bag up trash, clippings and other easily flammable items.
  • Don’t drive on areas of dry vegetation/grass
  • Be vigilant, and if you see a fire or suspicious activity, report it immediately
  • Avoid activities with open flames or sparks
  • Avoid power equipment that creates sparks
  • Obey burn bans

If you’re in pre-evacuation

The US Fire Service offered these recommendations if you live in an area under a pre-evacuation order:

  • Close all windows and doors but leave them unlocked for quick access
  • Shut off natural gas and propane service
  • Remove lightweight or flammable window shades and curtains
  • Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your home in the smoke or after dark
  • Put your supply kit in a vehicle so you can leave quickly when ordered to

Have a wildfire emergency kit

If you see smoke or fire heading your way, it is important to evacuate, especially if you’re ordered to do so by local officials.

According to Be Wildfire Ready, a website run by the Grand County Wildfire Council, the most important thing is to have an emergency supply kit and evacuation bag ready to go ahead of time. This will allow you to get out of a home in a matter of minutes and can be the difference between life and death in a fast-moving fire.

The kit should have face coverings, enough water and food to last for three days, a map with at least two evacuation routes, a first aid kit, prescription drugs, and extra clothes. If time allows grabbing easily carried valuables and family photos or other irreplaceable items will help relieve the burden if your home is destroyed.

The International Fire Chiefs Association said it’s crucial to have an action plan in place in case a wildfire starts.

  • Important phone numbers- Emergency and non-emergency
  • The owner of your property
  • List of local news and radio stations
  • Location of electrical and natural gas shut offs
  • Directions notating all neighborhood exits
  • Exit routes
  • Meeting location
  • Area shelters/safety zones

Get your home ready

It is also important to prepare your home in case a wildfire sparks.

Einar Jensen, risk reduction specialist with South Metro Fire Rescue offered steps to help mitigate fire activity.

Clear any brush away from your home, make sure nothing flammable is near your home, clean your gutters, and trim your trees.

“You absolutely do not want junipers or any relations to junipers (like similar bushes) within 30 feet of our homes,” he said.

Another step is to find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property.

If you’re building a home, try to choose fire-resistant materials like stucco and concrete.

Review your insurance policy and document your property

Another step you can take is to check your insurance policy and understand what it covers in case there’s a wildfire.

ReadyForWildfire.org says it’s important to document things in your home before a fire happens. Here are the following tips from the organization on how to do that:

  • Video or photograph each room of your home: Remember to document drawers and closets
  • Describe your home’s contents in your video: Mention the price you paid, where and when you bought the item.
  • Remember to note important or expensive items: Video your electronics, appliances, sports equipment, TVs, computers, tablets
  • Save receipts for major purchases: Store key documents in the cloud or fireproof case. Keep home inventory offsite or in the cloud.
  • Video your garage: Don’t forget to video or photograph what is inside your garage.

Weather forecast

Keep an eye on the weather forecast for things like fire weather watches and warnings, or red flag warnings. You can see active weather alerts here.

Be sure to download the free Pinpoint Weather App to stay up-to-date with the newest weather data as it comes in and to get important alerts straight to your phone.