Wildfires pose a significant threat to many communities, particularly in areas like Colorado, where dry conditions can escalate the risk. In both Timnath and Larimer County, we recognize the importance of being prepared for the risk of wildfires throughout the year, not just during the peak season. While we are fortunate that the terrain, water accessibility, emergency vehicle routes, and low fuel loads of Timnath help lower the risk of wildfires, we understand the need for ongoing efforts to maintain this level of safety.
The Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) and other response agencies are essential partners in our efforts to prepare for and respond to wildfires. Their dedicated professionals review factors such as moisture levels, fuel loads, wind conditions, and other weather elements daily. These evaluations help them anticipate the type of response required if a fire report comes in and allows them to keep the community informed about safety measures, recommendations, and potential bans in effect.
The PFA team is involved in a wide array of preventative efforts. Firefighters thin fire fuels to reduce the chances of a fire spreading rapidly, fire marshals examine building plans to ensure they are fire-resistant, and crews review water access points to guarantee they are ready for use in case of a fire. They collaborate with the City of Fort Collins, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, surrounding fire departments, and other agencies to mitigate risks and prepare for rapid response. Each firefighter in the PFA has specialized wildland fire response training, and there are personnel on the wildland fire deployment list ready to be deployed to fires across Colorado and the nation if needed.
However, the community plays a crucial role in preventing wildfires and protecting homes and properties. Notably, humans are responsible for approximately 87% of all wildfires nationally each year. It’s essential to recognize that everyone has a part to play in mitigating these risks. One of the primary defenses against wildfires is to create and maintain a defensible space around your home. This space, filled with carefully chosen and well-maintained vegetation, can slow the rate and intensity of an approaching wildfire. It provides more time for firefighters to extinguish the flames and protect your home, the forest, and nearby animals. It also gives you more options and time in case an evacuation order is issued.
For those living, working, and recreating in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) — where development and nature meet — the risk of wildfires is especially apparent. In Northern Colorado, areas such as Fort Collins, Laporte, Bellvue, and others within the PFA’s jurisdiction are part of this WUI and thus carry this elevated risk. Therefore, it’s critical to make your home and community adaptable to wildfires. One way to achieve this is by hardening your home to ember intrusion, which causes most home ignitions during a wildfire. Such steps can significantly minimize property damage and protect firefighters, ultimately reducing the risk to both firefighters and communities.
It’s worth remembering that wildfire preparedness isn’t just a seasonal task—it’s a year-round responsibility. We urge residents to stay informed and play an active role in safeguarding their property. Sign up for emergency alerts and updates in Larimer County at NOCO Alert and for wildfire mitigation information from the Colorado State Forest Service.
The combined efforts of professionals, government agencies, and the community can help us prepare for, prevent, and respond to wildfires effectively, ensuring the protection of life, property, and natural resources throughout the year
The Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) and other response agencies offer a wide variety of resources and education to help the community prepare for and respond. For more information from PFA, see here.