NewsCovering Colorado


Numbers show more often than not people are unprepared for wildfire emergencies

"Living with Wildfire"
Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 16:26:49-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Another series of “Living with Wildfire” town hall meetings is beginning in Colorado Springs.

“We need help from you just as much as you need to help from us,” said Captain Mike Smaldino with Colorado Springs Fire Department.

The first series of town hall meetings a year ago brought in thousands of locals who wanted to learn about things like mitigation and emergency preparedness.

“It's what you do before the fire happens. What do you do as the fire's happening? And then even after the fire,” said Smaldino.

During the sessions around 10,000 attendees signed up for emergency notifications on

It is a significant number, also evidence of why more town hall sessions are necessary.

“We have about 87,000 people in the database but with a community of 700,000 plus, there's still a lot of room for improvement,” said Ben Bills with El Paso-Teller County 911, “So just take that few minutes while we're not in the middle of an active emergency and sign up at

Signing up for the Peak Alerts system is often recommended as the first step in creating an emergency preparedness plan in El Paso and Teller counties.

The Living with Wildfire session will address other wildfire topics like:

  • How to do wildfire mitigation around your home
  • How to participate in the Neighborhood Chipping Program
  • How to prepare your home for a fire or wildfire
  • Knowing your evacuation zone
  • How to create an emergency plan
  • Knowing when and how to evacuate

The first session happens Tuesday, March 21 from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. The location is the Colorado Springs Masonic Center. The address is 1150 Panorama Drive, Colorado Springs, CO.

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