Letter to the editor: Ideas for a better evacuation plan
After hours of research and discussions with local and county officials following the letter to the editor “Summit needs a much better wildfire evacuation plan,” I submit the following ideas for review:
- Add a third lane to Highway 9 southbound from the Sinclair station on south Main Street to Fairplay.
- Make the new parking structure in Breckenridge a safe haven for those trapped in traffic: remove exterior wood and replace with corrugated metal, thermal glass and air handling equipment.
- Install civil alert sirens around Breckenridge similar to tornado warning systems in the Midwest.
- Install evacuation road signage like communities subject to hurricanes.
- Require neighborhood-specific evacuation maps and instructions in every home in Breckenridge.
- Create an AM/FM radio system for evacuation instructions.
- Widen designated evacuation routes by clear cutting trees on 12 feet on both sides of roadways.
- Install high-intensity emergency lighting on poles along evacuation routes.
- Build a volunteer team of citizens with radios linked to law enforcement to help during emergencies (community emergency response team).
- Position town and county assets (snow plows) during fire season to clear roadways during an evacuation.
- Review the feasibility of Jeep trail improvements and tree removal on Peak 10 and Baldy as alternative escape routes for those trapped in nearby neighborhoods.
- Explore the use of the Auto Fire Guard technology.
- Contract with Fire Dynamics Simulator to build simulation maps using multiple ignition sites, wind direction and wind speeds for all public safety vehicles.
- Create an “out-of-fire zone” backup fire command/communications control center.
- Hold a town hall meeting with officials from Paradise, California to share their story and coordinate a two-day onsite review with our community officials and current mitigation/evacuation plans.
- Install mountain webcams for 24/7 forest surveillance monitoring.
- Expand Breckenridge police force and jurisdiction.
- Provide additional equipment (skid-steer earth and forestry devices) for Red, White & Blue Fire.
- Develop a new evacuation plan.
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