By Jennifer McRae

(CBS4)– Colorado’s Division of Fire Prevention and Control is among multiple organizations encouraging Coloradans to protect their property against wildfires. The division anticipates above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation through June.

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That is raising concerns about a possible increase in fire danger.

The Colorado State Forest Service has some advice for homeowners to protect their property:

● Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves 5 feet from the home, as well as under decks, porches, sheds and play structures.
● Remove leaves and needles from roofs and gutters.
● Sweep porches and decks clear of any burnable plant material.
● Move firewood piles at least 30 feet from the house, preferably uphill.
● Transfer items under decks or porches to a storage area.
● Cover any exposed eave or attic vents with 1/8-inch metal mesh screening.
● Ensure home address signs are clearly visible from the street.
● Contact your local Office of Emergency Management to register for emergency notifications and encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.
● Confirm at least one alternate path out of your neighborhood other than the one most commonly used and be prepared for potential evacuation requiring the alternative route.

(credit: CBS)

“Taking care of these simple, but critically important, tasks will better prepare you and your family for a wildfire,” said Matt McCombs, State Forester and Director of the CSFS, in a statement. “These are actions anyone living adjacent to wildlands should put into practice. Last December’s Marshall Fire was a tragic, eye-opening reminder that the wildland-urban interface includes grasslands, not just forests. Homeowners have a responsibility to themselves and their families, as well as their community, to prepare their home and property for wildfire, and these activities are the perfect place to start.”

Jennifer McRae