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Firefighters make preparations on windy, dry day

West Metro Fire was on “Preparedness Level 2” Thursday, due to fire weather conditions across the metro.

MORRISON, Colo. — Thursday was a day of heightened awareness for Colorado firefighters.

 There was high fire danger across the state: warm, windy, dry conditions and Red Flag warnings.

“Pretty crunchy, pretty dry,” said Mike Worcester, a firefighter and paramedic with West Metro Fire’s wildland team.

“We’ve had a lot of moisture this year but we haven’t reached ‘green up.’ So everything is still dormant.”

He added, “its a great time of year in Colorado, but not if you’re a wildland firefighter.” 

At West Metro Fire’s Station 9, where the wildland firefighting team and their equipment is based, firefighters were on “Preparedness Level 2” all day. That means whatever call they go on, they bring the brush trucks, too.

“They [the brush trucks] follow them to all the normal calls, to the grocery store, the training events.. whatever would normally be an engine or ambulance, now we’re taking the brush truck,” Worcester said.

“So it's close, right there in the ‘hip pocket,’ and if we get an incident here in the district we're ready to respond.”

Thursday afternoon, West Metro sent a brush truck and three team members to join the South Strike Team working the 125 Fire near Simla in Elbert County. And firefighters were monitoring various fires across the state, in case teams elsewhere needed help.

Days like these prompt a lot of anxiety for people in Colorado, and more awareness, especially after the Marshall Fire.

“Especially this time of year, you know, we’re just coming out of the winter and just after the one year anniversary of the Marshall Fire. That’s been stuck in people's heads for the entire year since that fire,” Worcester said.

“It was a devastating loss to people in those communities and now you look at every neighborhood in the Denver metro and they all see themselves as just the same as neighborhoods in Superior and Louisville.”


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