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Release Date: 04/26/12
Contacts: Chris Barth, Public Information Officer    
  Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit    
  Phone: 970.240.5317 (o)    
  970.596.0430 (c)    

Global Wildfire Awareness Week – April 29th – May 5th (04-26-12)

Montrose, Colo. – Current local fuel and weather conditions indicate the potential for significant wildfire activity. Already this year, the National Weather Service has issued multiple Fire Weather Watches and Red Flag Warnings for much of western Colorado and the state as a whole. Wildfires throughout the state have impacted numerous communities and kept firefighters busy prior to what has typically been the start of wildfire season. As we move into fire season, experts predict that we will continue to see above normal significant fire potential through the early part of the summer.

In an effort to address wildfire awareness around the globe, the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) has proclaimed the first week of May as “Global Wildfire Awareness Week” across the Northern Hemisphere. IAWF President, Chuck Bushey, shared that the theme for May is ‘Your Home … Your Responsibility.’ Mr. Bushey went on to say, “Each year, more people around the world in the wildland-urban interface zone are affected by wildfire. Each year, people have to decide how to best protect their homes from fire or evacuate as early as possible if a wildfire does occur.” For more information about Global Wildfire Awareness Week, visit:

Residents living in the wildland urban interface – those areas where the natural environment and development meet – are encouraged to take personal responsibility by implementing Firewise principles to reduce the risk of wildfire to their life and property.

Also, as people begin to recreate in the outdoors this year, they are reminded to be cautious with all flammable materials. Unattended campfires - a frequent cause of wildfires - can easily be extinguished by following a few simple steps:

• Allow wood to burn completely to ash, if possible
• Pour lots of water on the fire, and drown all embers, not just the red ones
• Stir campfire ashes and embers with a shovel
• Scrape sticks and logs to remove any embers
• Stir and make sure everything is wet and cold to the touch
• If water is not available, use dirt. Mix dirt with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool.

Wildfire safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please do your part. For more information about reducing the risk of wildfire around your home, visit For more information about wildfire safety, visit

For information on wildfires and restrictions in the area, call the MIFMU Fire Information line (970.240.1070), visit the MIFMU website (, or follow us on Twitter (

The Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit covers the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest (USFS), the Gunnison Field Office (BLM), the Uncompahgre Field Office (BLM), Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (NPS), Curecanti National Recreation Area (NPS), and public lands in the counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  2465 South Townsend Avenue      Montrose, CO 81401  

Last updated: 04-27-2012