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Boulder County Sends Out Fire Patrols To High-Risk Areas

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A Boulder County fire patrol truck (credit: CBS)

A Boulder County fire patrol truck (credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The fire danger in Boulder County has crews there taking a big proactive step.

It’s hot, dry and windy, and people are on edge, which is why the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is going on the offensive. The department has been sending out patrols, including brush trucks, into high-risk areas to attack fires as soon as they start.

On Tuesday, as temperatures soared into the 90s and winds gusted to 30 miles per hour, crews headed into the Lefthand Canyon where the fire danger is off the charts.

“We’re just looking for any little whisp of smoke,” Matt Hise with the sheriff’s department said.

On any given day the sheriff’s office has brush trucks on patrol.

“It’s equipped with 350 gallons of water,” Hise said.

They patrol canyon and foothills communities prime for wildfires.

“To get on these fires as they start and knock them as soon as possible,” Hise said.

That means driving to high points and tracking lightning storms.

“We can follow in almost real time where the strikes are with a fair degree of accuracy.”

Patrol also involves enforcement and education on fire danger. In Boulder County most people know the risks because they’ve learned the hard way from past fires that caused major destruction.

“The probability and possibility of fires growing rapidly is really high.”

The Boulder Fire Department is also doing the patrols, which started last year, and are credited with helping contain the Flagstaff Fire last summer because crews were able to get on it so quickly.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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