While massive wildfires are burning across Colorado, Castle Rock Fire and Rescue officials say the department has helped as it can, but is too strained for resources at home to do much more. Acting …
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While massive wildfires are burning across Colorado, Castle Rock Fire and Rescue officials say the department has helped as it can, but is too strained for resources at home to do much more.
Acting Castle Rock Fire Chief Norris Croom said the department sent resources to the Weston Pass Fire in Park County the week of June 25 on an “immediate need request.” As of July 5, the Weston Pass Fire has burned 10,727 acres and was at 15 percent containment, according to the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center website.
The department provided one engine and crew, and one battalion chief. The crew arrived at approximately 6 p.m., worked overnight to protect structures and was released from duty at roughly 8 a.m. the next morning.
It's common for shifts to vary between 10 and 16 hours, Croom said, and working overnight has its pros and cons. The lack of sleep is hard on personnel, but the fire is typically less difficult to fight at night.
Croom said the department is not able to dispatch more personnel from Castle Rock.
“We are not sending firefighters out right now as we have limited staffing at this time, and we do not want to impact our ability to provide services here at home,” Croom said by email.
There are ways for Castle Rock residents to help, he said. They can donate to the Red Cross and specify Colorado wildfires or visit coemergency.com to stay up to date on the fires.
To help prevent fires in town, Croom encourages residents to keep their yards and fields mowed and to avoid running over rocks that could cause a spark and ultimately start fires.
He added some more tips:
“Do not carelessly discard cigarette butts or use fireworks, abide by the fire restrictions while they are in place, if using outdoor grills, chimineas, tiki torches, etc., use extreme caution, especially on windy days, and ensure that adult supervision is present, no 'open' burning is allowed, such as burning leaves, limbs, fields etc., and consult your local fire department for restrictions.”
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