Ranch News


Fire Danger, Fireworks and Lightning

As the 4th of July weekend approaches we find ourselves busy preparing for fun and family time.??I thought it might be helpful to?share a few reminders of?things that may help to make this time more enjoyable and safe for everyone.? I hope you find this to be useful information.

Colorado has a state-wide ban on fireworks that explode or leave the ground, except for during pre-approved public displays. In general, sparklers and fountains are permitted. The current ban we are under does not ban sparklers and fountains.? HFPD

Fire Dangerforest fire

You may have noticed the Red flags at our fire stations on the Ranch. These mean that fire danger is high and that there are fire bans in place. In order to know which bans are currently being?inforced, you can go to our Hartsel Fire Department website link here; http://hartselfire.org/news/?page_id=18

I called yesterday and spoke to the Assistant Chief-Chris Tingle and he said that at this point fires are allowed in fire rings but to check back on their site for updated information. No controlled burns are allowed.

An additional resource for finding out fire conditions is to call the recorded message at: 719-836-4160

Another helpful resource is: Firewise website

You will find a wealth of information there.

Fireworksusaflag fireworks

I found this site to be helpful;? http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks: (see site above for much more information)

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.Fireworks2014InfoGraphic340X212
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Lightning and Weather in the Mountains Lightening

This website?is a great place to go for current conditions;

Colorado Lightening Resource page http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pub/?n=ltg.php

Lightning Safety Tips-article from the http://www.thecohiker.com website

Nearly one hundred people are killed each year from lightning strikes. So, how do you stay safe during a storm that produces ground to cloud electricity? The following tips provide guidance on how to minimize risk during a severe, lightning-filled storm:

  • Recognize that electricity is in the air. Even if clouds have yet to produce lightning, electricity may still be in the air. The best method of detecting danger is to closely observe your or your hiking partner’s hair. If you see that hair is beginning to raise into the air, you know it is time you high-tail it out of the area you’re in and seek shelter.
  • Always follow the “30/30 Rule.” Upon first sight of lightning, count the seconds that pass until you hear thunder. If the number of seconds is 30 or less, seek shelter immediately. Stay put for 30 minutes after the last lightning flash or rumble of thunder. The National Weather Service estimates that 50% of all lightning deaths are sustained after the storm has passed.
  • Avoid dangerous locations. Stay near shelter during a storm; avoid terrain above timberline and bodies of water. If lightning moves in, try to avoid being within 100 yards of any body of water. Thunderstorms in Colorado have a propensity to build up steam between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Realistically, if thunderstorms are in the forecast, you should never be above timberline after 1:00 p.m. If you are above tree line when a storm rolls in, rapidly descend to shelter. Avoid caves – they actually channel electricity fairly well and are extremely dangerous to be in during a storm.
  • Avoid isolated trees and high points. It is always better to seek shelter in a thick forest versus an isolated stand of trees. Lightning favors small groupings of trees over dense stands.
  • Choose your camp wisely. Do not pitch your tent next to the tallest trees in the area. Lightning-filled storms can develop during the middle of the evening. Once again, it is best to locate camp in a thick stand of trees instead of next to an isolated grouping.
  • Discard metal objects. Drop all metal objects during a storm. Such objects might include an internal or external frame backpack, trekking poles, etc. Furthermore, you should get off a bicycle if you are mountain biking or road biking and a storm is closing in.
  • Avoid open fields. However, if you are stuck in an open field and cannot find shelter, find the lowest possible area. Crouch with your head low and keep your feet together. Never sit or lie down on the ground. Both of these positions facilitate greater ground-body contact, which gives lightning a wider space to travel through.
  • Spread out. If lightning is imminent and you are in a group, try to spread out. This will minimize the chance everyone in the group will be struck. It is important to ensure at least one person will be able to respond to an emergency situation.
  • Remain calm if someone is struck. If somebody is hit by lightning, provide the proper first aid. If the victim is not breathing, provide mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. However, if the person no longer has a pulse, the responder should attempt to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Someone from the group should stay with the victim until help arrives.


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