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The Chaffee County Communications Center received a call of a grass fire in the vicinity of CR 253 at approximately 12:19 p.m. today, March 23. Quick action saved several homes that could have been impacted.

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The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, Chaffee County Fire, South Ark Fire, and Colorado State Patrol initially responded and were then assisted soon after by the Salida Police Department and Chaffee EMS. The fire was burning in a grass field between CR 140 and 253 just east of CR 250 and was being pushed by the winds east toward numerous houses.

First responders immediately began addressing the fire at the houses as it was approaching. An Everbridge alert call was immediately sent out to residents in the immediate area and those structures that were threatened at that time were evacuated.

The wind continued to push the progress of the fire and several houses were now threatened. However due to the fast response and actions of fire crews the fire was stopped within feet of the residences and outbuildings. Given the quick action, the Everbridge was canceled and residents were allowed to return to their homes at  1:12 p.m.

“This fire is a good reminder that we are entering into that time of year of heightened awareness of fire safety at your residence, and the need for proper address signs at your home,” read the notification from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office. “Being prepared in case of evacuation and making sure you are registered with the Everbridge System utilized by the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office [is critical].”

The press notice reminds Chaffee County residents, second-home owners, owners of short-term rentals, and businesses to:

  • Clean up all debris and keep flammable materials away from homes.
  • Keep your grass and weeds cut as short as possible, and ensure you have done proper mitigation in regards to trees on your property.
  • It is always a good idea to have a “go bag” packed in the event an evacuation is ordered. (There are many online resources that can assist as to what steps need to be taken in the event of an evacuation.)
  • The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office maintains the Everbridge System for all emergency notifications. If you have not registered with Everbridge do so now, by clicking here, before we enter a season of higher fire danger.

If the Sheriff’s Office issues any type of emergency notification that might affect your property, by registering with Everbridge, you will get a notification.

One important signage requirement: the Sheriff’s Office asks that you place your address at the entrance to your property. Chaffee Fire makes green and white reflective address signs and they are excellent in assisting first responders in all situations.

For new residents, follow this link to the Chaffee County Emergency Response information page, which includes links and contact information for our county and municipal emergency, fire and rescue, county sheriff’s office, and the South Arkansas Fire Protection District. Of course, if you are in the midst of an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

For more complete information on all types of emergencies, the Chaffee County Citizen Emergency Preparedness Guide is available here.