Our Boulder Mountain Wildfire Crews have been out fighting wildfires in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado this summer. They have been dispatched as both Engine Crew and Handcrew firefighters. Pictured here is one of our Handcrew firefighters whose job may be to construct firelines to contain the fire by removing the fuels that wildfires need to spread, burn out the fire or finish by mopping up after fires. In another fire, they received support from an air tankers whose drops of fire retardant were able to reduce the intensity and spread rate. At yet another fire, it was necessary to helicopter in and drop our Handcrew in remote areas with steep slopes to better fight the wildfires, as shown with this crew photo.
Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District’s Emergency Response Team Superintendents, Mike Palamara and Terry Donovan, conduct an educational talk to Lincoln Hills Cares. Lincoln Hills Cares is a charitable organization that strives to make outdoor experiences available to our extended Front Range youth who might not otherwise have the opportunity due to economic, social or family circumstances. Our mitigation crew spent the day with these young adults educating them on the impact mitigation makes in protecting our forests from wildfires.
The recent extra wet days of the month of May have been welcomed by the Boulder Mountain Wildfire Mitigation Crew. Although many are anticipating the sunny days of summer to begin, the mitigation crew was able to utilize the moisture-ridden weather and completed some much needed prescribed slash pile burns within our district. Slash is the remnant of mitigation projects, or simply the forest debris cleaned up from around ones property, often consisting of limbs, pine cones, pine needles and miscellaneous fuel left by natural debris or forest management which is then concentrated into a pile. When optimum conditions exist, the slash piles are burned, further reducing the wildfire danger. Wind, temperature, moisture and staffing all play a significant role in allowing ignitions to take place. Firefighters monitor the area while and after the slash burning is complete, while keeping safety as top priority in burning operations. From Fall 2018 to Spring 2019, the mitigation crew has cleared 1500 slash burn piles. These piles encompassed 45 acres within our district and the work was completed on 17 days, making our urban interface neighborhood a safer place for us to live and to enjoy.
As a firefighter, Matt Kieffer has dedicated himself to being a first responder. He has put himself in harm’s way defending homes from wildfires, and responding to emergency events within our local community. He possesses a great passion for his profession and embodies the values of a firefighter in every aspect of his life. Today, the 26-year-old member of Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District, who has given so much to others, needs your help.
Matt is battling heart failure, and we are raising funds to assist with his living expenses. His illness first came to light while working on a large wildfire away from home. He subsequently went through the traumatic ordeal of an out of state surgery followed by travel home for additional operations. Matt’s condition will take him out of the line of duty for up to a year and we are looking to help him financially while he is unable to work.
Your support is greatly appreciated by Matt, his local fire department, and the emergency first responder community as a whole. Thank you for helping one of our brothers during his time of need.
Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District
On February 10th 2017 at 7:49 am, Boulder Mountain Fire was called to a report of a wildfire in the 400 block of Wagonwheel Gap Road. The fire was observed at 1 acre when wildfire crews first arrived and spreading quickly with the terrain and gusty winds.
Wildfire crews quickly went into protecting the dozen structures that were immediately threatened by the growing wildfire. In total, the wildfire grew to approximately 5 acres and was contained with no structures lost or damaged.
The wildfire was burning on properties that had been previously mitigated which helped wildfire crews get control of the wildfire before it turned into a larger incident.
As the snow storms come through, the crew will be taking advantage of winter conditions this month to burn slash piles near Hawk Lane, Surrey Ridge and Brook Rd Highway. Smoke may be visible.
Conditions are evaluated each day to determine if ignition will take place. Ignitions are generally expected to begin after 10 a.m. and will cease several hours before sunset. Precipitation, wind, temperature, fuel moisture and staffing all play a part in when and whether ignition occurs. Firefighters monitor the area after burning is complete. Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in burning operations.
Disclaimer: Smoke may affect your health. For more information visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.