EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) – With almost a foot of fresh snow on the ground in Evergreen on Monday, it was surprising to hear a fire official talking about wildfires and evacuations.
Despite Sunday’s snowstorm, Doug Saba of Evergreen Fire Rescue said moisture levels are nowhere close to where they’d like them to be at this time of year. He said they are planning for the worst.
“This is definitely a drop in the bucket,” Saba said.
The state’s snowpack is still at just 75 percent of average for late February.
Evergreen’s fire department will be one of the hosts of a community meeting in Evergreen on Wednesday night. Saba and other officials will review the city’s evacuation plans and also will urge people to get their houses ready for wildfires.
“We have a lot of information we’ve given out to homeowners about mitigating their properties,” Saba said. “There are a lot of properties still not mitigated.”
The fire threat is very real. Two years ago in March — normally Colorado’s snowiest month — the Soda Creek Fire broke out. Only a few weeks ago a fire burned in the Elk Creek area.
“This year we’ve already had 40 smoke checks in the first two months of this year,” Saba said. “Last year we had 135 smoke checks.”
The community meeting will take place at Evergreen High School at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Officials said they already have held one homeowner’s association meeting, and that had that HOA’s largest turnout ever.