The Vail Fire Wildland Fire Program was established in 2007.The program is currently staffed with 8 personnel including a full time program administrator, 2 seasonal module leaders and 4 seasonal firefighters. The crews are configured into 2 type 6 engine modules.
The wildland program’s primary mission is to protect the Town of Vail from Wildfire through prevention, mitigation and suppression. The crews are heavily involved in hazardous fuels reduction projects throughout the town and on the surrounding U.S. Forest Service land. Wildland crew members are skilled in the use of a variety of hand tools, chainsaws and suppression and prescribed fire techniques.
If you are interested in employment with the Vail Fire Wildland program or have questions regarding the program, contact Wildland Program Administrator Paul Cada at (970)477-3475.
Fuels Reduction Projects
Over the past several decades Vail Fire, in cooperation with a variety of partners, has completed numerous fuels reduction projects in the forests surrounding the Town.The map below shows a selection of fuels reduction projects that have been completed around the Vail Valley by Vail Fire and its partners.These fuels reduction projects are one part of the overall program to make Vail Fire Adapted.
In the event of a wildfire in or near Vail the Police and Fire departments will notify residents of the need to evacuate. Before a fire there are many things that you can do to be prepared. One of the most important things you can do is sign up for the towns notification system Everbridge here. The town will use a variety of systems including; Radio, phone calls, text, email, social media and door to door to notify residents of an evacuation. To be prepared for an evacuation you should focus in 2 areas: what to take and where to go.
What to Take
Prior to an evacuation some thought should be put into what you will take with you.To simplify the process, use the 6 P’s to prepare a list of what you would take:
1. People and Pets
2. Papers, phone numbers and important documents
3. Prescriptions, vitamins and eyeglasses
4. Pictures and irreplaceable items
5. Personal Computers
6. Plastic (credit cards, ATM cards and cash)
Another way to be prepared for evacuation is to build a go-kit to take with you.Go-kits include enough supplies for you and your family to take care of your essential needs during an evacuation.A list of useful items and suggestions for a go-kit are included at www.ready.gov/build-a-kit.
Where to go
Unlike a hurricane, pre-designated evacuation routes cannot be established to direct you to safety.The location of the fire will dictate where you are sent in a wildfire evacuation.In general evacuation routes within the town will be downhill to the valley bottom then to the nearest Interstate 70 on ramp and away from the direction of the fire.In addition to 3 designated on ramps in East Vail, Main Vail and West Vail emergency services has the ability to utilize the lower truck ramp of I-70 to evacuate residents of East Vail if necessary.
To accommodate residents that do not have a vehicle or need special assistance additional accommodations have been arranged.The town buses will be utilized to pick up individuals without a car.To use this service, walk to the nearest bus shelter and wait for the next bus.Individuals in need of extra assistance during an evacuation should register with Vail Public Safety Communications Center at 970-479-2201.
Once you have left your house do not stop until you are in a safe location such as a collection point or evacuation shelter.The town’s notification systems will clearly indicate where the collection points or evacuation shelters are established. Support services such as the local Red Cross and Salvation Army are available to set up evacuation shelters. When possible check in with your loved ones to make sure they know you are safe.
Defensible space video