COLORADO SPRINGS — A forecast of wind, warm temperatures, and dry conditions cause a wildfire fire threat that brings extra staffing to many of Colorado’s local fire agencies. Colorado Springs Fire Departments calls it Severity Patrols.
“Just in case there's a start we need to get there quickly and keep the fire contained as small as possible,” said Colorado Springs Fire Department, Battalion Chief Steve Wilch. Minutes matter when a wildfire starts.
The patrols are staffed by firefighters who sign-up to come in for extra duty. “Staff wildland apparatus and they will be out on patrol in the districts on the westside of town and other parts of town that have that urban interface,” said Wilch. They typically are out of fire stations and on the move in brush trucks.
Brush trucks are the size of a large pick-up truck, making them highly maneuverable. They are also efficient and rugged tools for going after wildfires. They are equipped with a water tank, a pump, and readily accessible hoses to quickly knock down flames.
The patrols also work to prevent human caused fires from starting. “They are talking with the members of our public, they're passing on fire prevention messages, telling people how to be safe, but they're also there to respond to any 9-1-1 fire calls,” said Wilch.
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