Chief's Corner : Commitment to Our Community

Wildfire Evacuation Planning

Weege, Mike

Our Commitment

Part 3

Wilfire Evacuation Planning
Evergreen Fire/Rescue, our surrounding fire districts and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office continue to coordinate efforts in wildfire response and attack. EFR, for example, worked with the Sheriff's Office and other agencies on developing a pre-plan document the deputies can use in the case of a wildfire to help guide them in decision making.

Our greatest challenge is the dynamic nature of wildfires, which is dependent on temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture, topography, fuel load, wind speed, wind direction, time of day and forecasted weather in the coming hours. All of these variables are what makes pre-planning evacuation routes very difficult.  We, like all other responding agencies, put life safety first when faced with a fast moving event like a wildfire. A unified command is established in a command post, where we then determine the size of the evacuation area, the direction of travel for the evacuees, and a shelter location for people to go based on the fire conditions generated by all the variables listed here, and more. Law enforcement then executes that plan while the fire department attacks the fire.  

We ask our community members to become familiar with the different ways to exit their neighborhoods and to leave early. Law enforcement will direct traffic, stop ingress into areas we are evacuating, and work to keep traffic flowing out. We are aware of the bottlenecks and the pinch points in areas of our community and where possible, will move people out in multiple directions. This will all depend on the fire and smoke conditions at the time.  

Hopefully, this helps you understand the dynamic nature of wildfire and why we have to make evacuation route decisions depending on the fire conditions.
If you are interested in helping our efforts to better prepare our community in the event of a wildland fire, please reach out to Jess Moore, our Wildland Project Coordinator. She can put you in touch with your CWPIP Plan Unit Ambassador. These volunteer Ambassadors help get information on defensible space, home hardening and evacuation preparedness into the neighborhoods throughout our fire district. Visiting our website, you can also sign-up for a free defensible space inspection and help inform your mitigation project.
The following links are some resources for your preparedness and awareness:
From Jefferson County Sherif's Office
Many of you asked what we do for fire training in Jeffco. Check out this link to a article and pictures from our multiagency April 15th training. The JCSO works with your local fire departments to provide as many resources as possible during a wildfire event and to safely get people out of harm’s way. You, too, can #BeYourOwnHero and prepare your home, family and property for wildfires. Visit our JCSO emergency management webpage to learn more at