Wildfire Protection

Arabian Acres is currently only one of two subdivisions in Teller County designated in the “Extreme” fire danger category.  

This is mainly due to the fact that there are many properties within Arabian Acres that are in dire need of mitigation.  PLEASE mitigate your property.  If you are unable, ask for help.  Arabian Acres is in the highest risk category for wildfire, and we must do something to change this.   Please do your part.

What can you do to help? 

Mitigate your property of all slash and ladder fuel, abide by Teller County fire restrictions at all times, and join the Arabian Acres Fire Protection Committee.

We ask that all residents and property owners please watch the following video.

If our neighborhood, as a whole, isn’t properly mitigated, we could be bypassed when the fire crews are working to best use their resources.


A note from Arabian Acres resident and wildlife biologist, Kelly Goocher:

Fire Mitigation and . . . Birds

Greetings All,

As I listen to all the chainsaws the last couple weeks . . I cringe. Yes – fire mitigation is incredibly important. Unfortunately – spring/summer seems to be the time people start ‘cleaning’ their property – and it is also the time when birds are nesting. Birds have about 4 months to successfully reproduce; while battling weather and predators. Average time to build a nest, incubate, and feed young before they fledge can be 20-30 days – more for larger birds. If the nest fails, they start over – another 3-4 weeks. Time is short for birds to successfully nest.

So: what can you do to minimize the chance of removing a nest tree or disturbing nesting birds?? A lot!

1) Try to make some time to sit quietly and watch your trees for nesting birds days before your planned cutting. You are looking for birds that may be carrying nesting material, or food for their young right now. Try to identify the tree they are nesting in and flag it so it is not cut down – yet. It’s not hard to find a nest tree – it just takes time.

2) Pay particular attention to larger Aspen trees. Birds who nest in cavities (holes) LOVE Aspen! Like bluebirds, swallows, house wrens, woodpeckers, nuthatches. Aspen – dead or alive – are frequently used for nests sites as birds can easily channel out a nest hole in the trunk. There’s an Aspen tree at the AAPOA pond that has at least 2 pair of nesting birds in it: a Lewis’s woodpecker and a pair of house wrens; another tree has a house wren and violet green swallow nests in holes.

3) Consider that even if you protect the nest tree, the sound and presence of people can disturb nesting birds. Birds may stop incubating or feeding young due to the disturbance. So even if you protect the tree, the nest may ‘fail’ – if the adults are not incubating or feeding their young. Try to limit work near the nest tree – move away for 30 minutes or so to give the birds a chance to come back and feed or incubate.

Yes – fire mitigation is important – and I am not suggesting you stop cutting trees for birds – at least not permanently. Just consider your impact on wildlife around you. If you enjoy seeing birds, watching birds, feeding birds . . . give them a chance to nest and rear their young. They’ll be done soon – maybe a couple of those trees can wait a month or so. If you’d like some help on what to look for – I’d be willing to stop by for an hour or so. Drop me a note.

Kelly


ALWAYS BE AWARE OF CURRENT BURN BAN STATUS

Remember, Arabian Acres residents must follow all Teller County burn bans and restrictions at all times.  You can find out if there is an active ban in place by visiting the Teller County website.


SIGN UP FOR NOTIFICATIONS

Please sign up for emergency notifications at nixle.com, and always be aware of current burn restrictions.  Visit the Teller County Office of Emergency Management to find out if a fire ban is currently in place.


ARABIAN ACRES FIRE SAFETY PROTOCOL

Fire Pits and Outdoor Fire Places:

–        Fire Pits shall have a ring no bigger than 24”.

–        Fire pits shall be set 4” below grade and must have a ring no less than 6” above grade.

–        Portable outdoor fireplace as well as fire pits shall not be operated within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material.

–        Keep away from flammable material and fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid or vehicles while in use.

–        Do not use flammable fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid to light or relight fires.

–        Do not allow children to use the fire pit. Keep children and pets away.

–        Do not wear flammable or loose fitting clothing such as nylon.

–        Do not burn trash, leaves, slash/green organic material, paper, cardboard, or plywood.

–        Avoid using soft wood such as pine or cedar that will likely pop and throw sparks. Use of seasoned hardwood is suggested.

–        Before starting a fire, make sure the lid will still close to extinguish the fire in case of emergency.

–        Before lighting a fire, check wind conditions and direction.

–        Always keep a fire extinguisher and or a garden hose nearby.

–        If a fire gets out of control or your house catches fire, leave all doors and windows closed but unlocked. Also, leave hoses hooked up and ladders available to the fire dept. If you have a wrench for your natural gas connection, leave that with the meter for the fire department as well.

Safety Tips for Grilling:

–        Propane and charcoal BBQ Grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.

–        Position the grill well away (at least 10 feet) from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

–        Keep children and pets from the grill area: Declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill.

–        If you own a propane grill, check the cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles.

–        Purchase the proper starter fluid and store out of reach of children and away from heat sources.

–        Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid  to get the fire going.

–        If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.

–        Never store propane cylinder in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.

Smoking Outdoors:

–      In a Stage I fire ban, smoking is only permitted in areas that are clear of all flammable or combustible materials, or in designated smoking areas.

–      In a Stage II fire ban, smoking is only permitted inside an enclosed vehicle or building.


LEARN MORE:

Click the following links to learn more about what Stage I and Stage II fire bans entail. The more we know, the safer we can keep our homes and families.


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