Quandary talks fire safety and gets in a Burning Man reference | SummitDaily.com

Quandary talks fire safety and gets in a Burning Man reference

What’s Summit’s emergency evacuation plan?

In case you hadn’t noticed, people are pretty much the minority in Summit. Far more land is occupied by furry friends, tall trees and dirt tracks than by your homes. This means there is plenty of fuel for any fire that gets started deep in the county’s forest and not a lot of eyeballs to know exactly when and where it happened. Luckily, the fire departments here are on top of things and will respond as soon as any report of a forest fire surfaces. It’s still good to be vigilant, and if you suspect a fire, check to make sure it is not a controlled burn and report the smoke.

If the fire cannot be contained and threatens a developed area, the incident commander may make a call for an evacuation. Don’t be stubborn; if the call comes through, realize it is for your safety and you are best to get what you can and high-tail it out of town. If you make an evacuation plan ahead of time it will be much easier to quickly get yourself and prized possessions out of your home. Realize not everything in your home needs to go with you; your safety should come above that trophy you won for the third-grade spelling bee, but if you have time to get a blanket for a goat that needs someplace warm to crash for a few days, that would be nice.

So you’ve packed up your vital records, your blankets and, hopefully, your children, now where do you go? That information will also be communicated at the time of evacuation when a command center is established.

If you’re worried you won’t get the message, be aware that there are multiple methods used to contact people in need of evacuation. These include reverse 911 calls, Twitter, text messaging, radio, emergency alert system, public addresses and even going door-to-door. Again, try to be prepared: Make sure you’re set up with the local alert systems and follow the various emergency service groups on Twitter. While a fire is blazing is not the time to try to learn new technologies, so if 140 characters didn’t pop into your head right away, maybe get some help setting that one up and use it as your backup alert system. As always, be prepared, and if you have questions, talk with an official or visit the Summit County website.

Can i burn stuff in Summit?

Well that is a broad and highly concerning question. It really depends on what you’re burning to figure out who you’ll get in trouble with. If you’re burning money, the spouse probably won’t be too happy. Burning rubber? Sheriff Minor’s going to find you.

There are some things you can burn without cause for concern in Summit, but the list for what you can’t burn is a tad bit longer. To begin with, you can’t burn your garbage. Residents of counties with a population of more than 25,000 are not allowed to burn trash, according to Colorado law. In 2013, Summit’s population was recorded at 28,649, meaning no flames for you, pyro. In fact, we passed the magic population number way back in 2003. It seems once you have more residents than Burning Man has hippies, you are no longer allowed to set your trash ablaze. For the rest of the no-burn list, try to just use common sense.

Luckily, all of your masterful ignition skills don’t have to be wasted on candles and pot. You can have a campfire in your backyard so long as it’s controlled and small. You also might want to be a nice neighbor and let the people around you know. Heck, maybe even invite them. It will lessen your chances of having sirens ruin your jams and earn you some bonus points in the neighborhood.

You can also burn slash piles, but there are restrictions. In order to engulf your slash pile you must first obtain a permit from your local fire department and the environmental health department. If your pile is big you may also need to get a permit from the state health department.

Basically if you have doubts, don’t burn it, or at the very least contact the fire department beforehand so they can truly appreciate your actions.

Have a question for Quandary? Send an email to quandary@summitdaily.com

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