Wildfire Prevention

More than 80 percent of wildfires are caused by humans, so each of us plays a role in preventing a wildfire. It's important to understand wildfire prevention strategies related to camping, campfires, driving, outdoor equipment use, smoking, shooting and more. It's also important to be aware of and abide by current fire restrictions.

Summit County Fire Restrictions

Summit County, Colorado, does not currently have fire restrictions in place.

For information about fire restrictions in other counties, view statewide fire restriction and fire danger information across Colorado.

Wildfire Prevention Strategies

Summit County, in partnership with local towns and the Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest, is using a variety of strategies to prevent wildfire. Join us in our efforts by reviewing the info below and taking appropriate action. Help us stop a wildfire before it starts.

Smokey Bear says, "You can help." One less spark, one less wildfire.
More than 80% of wildfires are caused by humans.
  1. Campfires
  2. Vehicles & Equipment
  3. Smoking
  4. Shooting
  5. Debris Burning

Campfire Safety to Prevent Wildfire

  • Check For Restrictions: Find out if local fire restrictions are in place: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions allow campfires only in developed campgrounds, inside permanent fire pits or fire grates. Stage 2 Fire Restrictions prohibit campfires altogether.
  • Build Properly: If no restrictions are in place, build a campfire by selecting a level, open site, away from logs, trees and brush. Clear grass, leaves and needles within 5 feet of the fire's edge. Scoop a depression at the center of the cleared area, and set ring of rocks around the depression.
  • Burn Safely: Keep all campfires small, and always have a shovel and bucket of water nearby. A responsible adult should monitor the fire until it is completely out. Unattended campfires are one of the most common causes of wildfires.
  • Put Out Completely: Drown the fire with water, and stir with a shovel to wet all ash and coals. Feel them with the back of your hand – they should be cool to the touch. Move some dirt onto the fire site and mix thoroughly to create a cool, wet "soup."

Wildfire Prevention Patrol

In summer 2018, Summit County partnered with the U.S. Forest Service, local towns and local fire districts to conduct wildfire prevention patrols. A four-person U.S. Forest Service crew patrolled the Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest throughout the summer.

The crew conducted campsite monitoring, visitor contacts and fire-prevention messaging throughout the Dillon Ranger District, which is located entirely within Summit County. Crew members informed visitors about U.S. Forest Service and Summit County regulations that protect natural resources and prevent wildfires. Contact with individuals in undeveloped, dispersed campsites was the top priority. In addition to the USFS crew, personnel from the Summit County Sheriff's Office also conducted fire-prevention patrol work.

The combined effort was funded by a coalition of local government agencies. Summit County contributed $86,000 as well as in-kind services; the local towns and fire districts contributed an additional $50,000. The Forest Service provided training, supervision, housing, vehicles and equipment for the USFS crew. Summit County also conducted public education and outreach on wildfire prevention.

Learn more about Summit County's 2018 wildfire prevention patrol.

Thanks to local voters, the wildfire prevention patrol will continue in summer 2019 and beyond, as a Summit County Strong Future initiative.

Wildfire Evacuation Kit

Below is a list of items to consider including in your household's wildfire evacuation kit. The items in your kit may vary depending on the needs and priorities of your household, as well as the circumstances of a given wildfire, such as the scale of the incident and access to food, water and shelter.  
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, diapers, baby food)
  • Batteries
  • Can opener
  • Cash
  • Clothing, hats, sturdy shoes
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency blanket and/or sleeping bags
  • Emergency contact information
  • Family contact information
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Food: Non-perishable, 3-day supply
  • Games and books
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Items of sentimental value that could not be replaced
  • Keys: House, vehicles
  • Matches
  • Medical items, devices, records and information
  • Medication: 7-day supply; list of medications
  • Multi-tool
  • Personal documents (proof of address, home lease/deed, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Pet supplies: food, leash, carrier, bowl
  • Phone, tablet, laptop and power cords
  • Rain gear
  • Scissors
  • Toiletries and personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, moisturizer, razor, soap, sun screen, hair brush)
  • Towels
  • Water: 3 gallons/person
  • Whistle
  • Work gloves