Be Prepared - Flood and Wildfire Safety Week

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Published Sunday, March 12, 2017

Be Prepared - Flood and Wildfire Safety Week

The National Weather Service wants everyone in the United States to be part of a Weather-Ready Nation.  Colorado has more than its fair share of floods, flash floods, and wildfires.  You should be weather-alert and weather-ready, knowing how to stay safe when floods and wildfires affect your area.

Governor Hickenlooper has proclaimed the week of March 12th through 18th as Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week. Now is the time to learn about flood and wildfire risks in Colorado, and to develop your plans to improve your outcome.  

Flood prone areas have been identified in over 250 cities and towns and in all 64 counties in Colorado. Over 250 thousand people live in floodplains in Colorado. There are estimated to be 65 thousand homes and 15 thousand commercial, industrial, and business structures in identified floodplains. There are likely many more structures located within unmapped flood hazard areas. The value of the property, structures, and contents located in the identified floodplains is estimated to be around 15 billion dollars.

Floods and flash floods have killed over 400 people in Colorado since the turn of the 20th century.  The historic weather pattern of September 2013 reminds us all that floods are a major concern across the Centennial state.  Floods have caused billions of dollars in damage in Colorado. 

On average 2500 wildfires occur across Colorado each year. Since 2012, 8 people have been killed when wildfires occurred in the wildland-urban interface. 

The National Weather Service forecast offices which serve Colorado will issue a series of public information statements during this Flood Safety and Wildfire Awareness Week, covering the following topics:

Sunday........ Introduction to the week (this article)

Monday........Flood watches and warnings

Tuesday.......River and areal floods

Wednesday...Flash floods

Thursday......Fire weather forecasts...watches...and warnings

Friday...........Wildfire safety and mitigation

Saturday.......Review of the week

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