Following injuries during a fire Sunday, fire officials are urging residents and visitors to leave firefighting to professionals.
Three people were injured during the early stages of the Pence Fire in Wildlife Estates north of Craig when they attempted to keep the fire from spreading, according to a release from Craig Fire/Rescue, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire on Monday afternoon.
“It can be risky to attempt fire suppression without the proper training or equipment,” said Dave Toelle, Northwest Colorado assistant fire management officer. “Protection of life is always the primary objective for all emergency responders. In extremely dry fuels, as we now have, fire can spread rapidly and overtake those in its path. The results can be tragic.”
In case of a fire, officials recommend the following steps for safety:
• Call 911 immediately and provide as much detail as possible, including location, what’s burning, description of smoke, and any homes or structures that are threatened;
• Be safe and move out of the immediate area and monitor;
• Do not attempt to extinguish the fire;
• Account for others on the scene and move them to safety; and
• Be a good witness and provide responders with information.
“People often feel compelled to take action and help. Although their intentions are good, it can have the opposite effect and actually delay fire response,” Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston said. “Safety is our highest priority. Following the guidelines is much more effective than trying to suppress the fire yourself.”