National Safety Month
June, for a couple of reasons, is an important month for us. For one, it’s National Safety Month; we are emphasizing crime prevention, road and pedestrian safety, bicycle safety, and most importantly, fire safety. The Genesee Fire and Safety Committee places a strong focus on our role as a Firewise Community, and we are in our 15th year as a member of the National Fire Protection Association. On the evening of June 5th, the GFSC is holding a panel discussion on a variety of topics; speakers from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office and Genesee Fire Protection District will be there to present, and answer your questions. Certainly, fire safety does not begin and end with June; it is a year-round presence and we must treat it with respect, and exercise diligence as a community.
For those not familiar, “firewise” refers to a national program that emphasizes community involvement and provides important information for residents to reduce the risk of wildland fire igniting homes. If you don’t read this any further, please walk away with these two words – mitigation and preparation.
We need to look no further than recent history to see what risks fire danger represents. According to the National Agency Fire Center, year over year as of December 22:
A. Fire damage rose from 5.4 million acres in 2016 to approximately 9.8 million in 2017, or an increase of 81.5%.
B. The number of wildfires increased from 65,575 in 2016 to 66,131 in 2017.
C. 2017 ended up exceeding the 10-year average for fire damage. Over the past 10 years, losses from wildfires totaled $5.1 billion.
D. The Waldo Canyon Fire, during June 24 – 28 2012, ranks as the 10th costliest wildland fire in U.S. history.
The loss of life of course is most tragic. Fortunately, Colorado ranks outside of the top 10 states nationally ranked for acres burned. But we certainly have had our share of fires, and we know how a small fire can spread very rapidly. So please, let’s ALWAYS exercise caution, and proactively protect ourselves and our property against the dangers of wildfire. Please look for other informative articles this month from other committee members on this topic.