Due to the high fire danger and recent fires impacting the San Luis Valley, we are reprinting this evacuation guide.
We often experience extreme fire danger in Crestone throughout the warmer months of the year. Once a large area is on fire, it is difficult to stop. Fire Department efforts to contain the fire would change to focusing on the safe evacuation of the community. Heavy smoke and falling embers may force you to another location. Smoke may reduce your visibility so that road signs and landmarks are not visible. These are signs that the fire may be moving toward you. Continually reassess your situation for safety.
When the Sheriff orders an evacuation the primary method of notifying residents to evacuate is to send an automated message to your telephone. If you have moved with your phone number, or if you have a new phone numbers in the last few years please contact our dispatch center to make sure your emergency contact information is correct. Don’t tie up phone lines if you receive this call.
To register for Code Red go to www.slve911.org – you can register your cell phone and request text messages too! If your phone has a ring tone (“please enjoy the music while we connect your call”) you will NOT receive an emergency call! You may also be notified by public address system or radio on KRZA 88.7 FM and KSLV 1240 AM.
Have a phone on hand which is not electrically dependent if the power goes out. If cell phone service is interrupted, you may still be able to send a text message.
An escape route is a preplanned route to reach a fire-safe zone. Plan several escape routes out of your neighborhood in case of heavy smoke, blocked routes or nighttime evacuation. Visitors – know your way OUT at all times as landmarks may become invisible in heavy smoke or darkness.
- Select the closest, most direct route
- Watch for blocked roads and debris, and confused wildlife and humans
- Avoid an uphill escape – head downhill if you don’t know where else to go
- Continuously reassess the situation for safety
- Pay attention to additional instructions from emergency personnel
- It may be safest to stay where you are but DO evacuate when you are told to do so!
When you evacuate go directly to the Moffat School, our emergency shelter. Be sure to check in at the Moffat School even if you plan on going somewhere else. We may need to locate you and your family.
Baca Grande Residents: If it is safe to do so exit to County Road T, toward highway 17 by going North on Camino Baca Grande. It may be safer to move to the Grants/ prairie area where fire will probably pass through more quickly and with less intensity. If you are unable to evacuate and if safety allows consider going to an area that has already burned completely and has had time to cool down. If possible we will look for stranded people at the southwest end of Camino Real aka “Two-Trees Road”. (Near Camino del Rey)
Alternate Route: In the event that Camino Baca Grande is blocked there an alternate evacuation route off of the north end of Wagon Wheel Road. If safety allows go south on Badger Road and then go North/right onto Wagon Wheel at the stop sign. Go less than a quarter mile and turn right onto Spanish Creek Trail. Cross the creek and go about two miles to exit onto Road T. Turn left on Road T and head to Moffat.
Crestone Residents: Exit to Road T if possible, if not, head west on Galena Street and turn left at the cemetery entrance. At the first “Y” turn left. Keep going and then left onto 66T. Then right onto T.
BE PREPARED TO RESPOND
Hard of hearing and less-mobile residents should make advance arrangements with family or neighbors for assistance. Also register with the State Patrol (589-5807) and advise them of health/ mobility issues.
PREPARE IN ADVANCE
Gather these items in advance and store some in your car. Make an evacuation checklist for your household and put it on your refrigerator so you can find it when you need it. You may have very little time to get out safely.
- Medications, Medical instructions, Eye glasses and prescriptions
- A copy of your family communication plan www.ready.gov
- Cash, credit cards, checkbook
- Extra keys
- Elderly, Infant and children’s supplies and activities
- Homeowner’s and health insurance papers and other important documents
- Computer data back-ups, and print outs of contact telephone numbers
- Precious photos and other special items
- Family contact phone numbers and address books
- Blankets, pads, bedding and pillows
- A full change of clothes including hat, raingear and shoes
- Flashlights, portable weather radio, extra batteries
- Hats scarf, mittens, umbrella: in case you are stuck outside for a long time in the cold
- Personal Hygiene items
- Have pet carriers, pet food, leashes and medicine ready. Each pet should be vaccinated and have a name tag with your name on it.
- Have a plan to move your large animals to safety
- Carry recent pictures of your family and pets with you.
IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO GO TO A SHELTER ALSO PACK THESE THINGS
Three days of food and water (1 gallon per person per day) Cooking supplies and camp stove
Portable water filter Shovel & sanitation supplies
Fire Extinguishers Sleeping bags, pillows, tents and tarps
Camping gear, Rain gear First Aid kit
RIGHT BEFORE YOU EVACUATE
- Gather family members and restrain pets, take them all with you!
- Close all doors and windows – even inside ones.
- Connect hoses outside but leave the water OFF.
- Leave ladders out where they can be found by firefighters.
- Disconnect automatic garage door openers leaving access for fire fighters.
- Outside: Bring yard furniture and accessories inside – these can ignite, blow against your home and burn it down.
- Inside: Move flammable furniture away from windows. Take down light curtains.
- Use a dry cloth over nose & mouth to reduce smoke inhalation.
If you are close to the heat a wet cloth will steam and burn your lungs.
- Wear all cotton or leather clothing, hats and heavy boots or shoes. Carry leather gloves.
- Shut off the propane at the tank and turn off pilot lights and gas to piloted appliances.
- Leave lights and electricity ON.
- Leave a note indicating where you are going and a phone number.
- Put a big tape X on your front door when you leave – take your pets with you.
- Tune your radio to KRZA 88.7 FM or KSLV 1240 AM.
- Continually reassess your situation for safety until you reach your destination.
- Listen for additional instructions from emergency personnel.
Check in at Moffat School whether or not you are staying there!!!
An area-wide emergency is your opportunity to be part of the solution instead of becoming part of the problem. Please do your part to prepare for an emergency evacuation so everyone can get out safely.