Planning for a Wildfire

Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) 30-10-513 identifies the Sheriff as the fire warden for the county, who is ultimately responsible for controlling and extinguishing prairie and forest fires on private and state lands within the county. The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Wildland Fire Team assists other local firefighting agencies, and responds when fires occur in areas of Unincorporated Arapahoe County where there is not a designated fire jurisdiction.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Wildland Fire Team members have undergone rigorous fitness testing and wildland firefighter training. Most members hold a Red Card national certification from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG.)

Create a Wildfire Action Plan

Your Wildfire Action Plan must be prepared and familiar to all members of your household well in advance of a wildfire. Use the checklist below to help create your plan, keeping in mind the needs of your family.

Your Wildfire Action Plan Checklist:

Create an evacuation plan that includes:
  • A designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. This is critical to determine who has safely evacuated from the affected area.
  • Several different escape routes from your home and community. Practice these often so everyone in your family is familiar in case of emergency.
  • Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock.
  • A Family Communication Plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. It is often easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited.
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them.
  • Ensure that your family knows where your gas, electric, and water main shut-off controls are located and how to safely shut them down in an emergency.
  • Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for each person, as recommended by the American Red Cross.
  • Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers posted near your phone and in your emergency supply kit.
  • Keep an extra Emergency Supply Kit in your car in case you cannot get to your home because of fire or other emergency.
  • Have a portable, battery-powered, radio or scanner so you can stay updated on the fire.