By Joel Hillan

MORRISON, Colo. (CBS4) – Jackie White has called the foothills home for 10 years and while she loves it, she also understands the dangers.

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CBS4’s Joel Hillan interviews Jackie White. (credit: CBS)

“It’s very dry up here, we have lots of fuels.”

That’s why she invited her neighbors to learn from firefighters how they can, and should, mitigate the fire danger around their homes.

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(credit: CBS)

“It’s important for the residents of our area to take action and be informed on how they can help protect their own homes, help the firefighters do the best job they can protecting their homes and also just how to get out if there’s an emergency, just be ready, set and go,” White said.

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(credit: CBS)

Dan Hatlestad with Inter-Canyon Fire Rescue showed us some homes near Station 3 whose owners have done an excellent job of fire mitigation. He says it starts with taking care of fuels immediately next to your house.

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(credit: CBS)

“Pine cones, pine needles, brush that’s growing up, branches that have come down off the roof, those are very common fuels that end up right next to the house and create the potential of the movement of the wildfire into the structure,” he said.

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Dan Hatlestad (credit: CBS)

Thinning out the fuels like oak brush farther out from your home can slow down the intensity of the fire as it approaches your house, helping firefighters do their job.

“They’re neighbors. They’re friends. They’re people we work beside on a daily basis. They may even be firefighters with our fire department, so we want to do everything we can to save the home, but that does take mitigation by the homeowner,” Hatlestad said.

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White hopes neighbors can work together to help each other out.

“Many hands make light the load so if we can all work together I think it’ll help our neighborhood become safer.”

LINK: National Fire Protection Association Mitigation Information

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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