Boulder Office of Emergency Management to participate in regional wildfire exercise

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For Immediate Release

May 13, 2016

Media Contact
Carrie Haverfield, Boulder County Sheriff’s Communications, 303-441-3989
Shannon Cordingly, City of Boulder Police and Fire PIO, 303-441-3370

Boulder Office of Emergency Management to participate in regional wildfire exercise

Boulder County, Colo.On Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, a full-scale training exercise will be held in partnership with Boulder County agencies, the City of Boulder, Boulder Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Boulder Incident Management Team. The training exercise will involve more than 25 agencies, more than 300 participants, and will exercise all elements of a wildland fire incident from the initial response to mass care management.

Residents may see and hear personnel and equipment associated with this training exercise, which will include helicopter flights, in and around the following locations:

Boulder Reservoir
     Potential traffic of key resources to and from the incident area
2801 Jay Road
     Simulation evacuation drill site where volunteers will be evacuated to and assessed
     by the Access and Functional Needs team
Between Mine Lane Road and Carriage Hills, near BMFD Fire Station 1
     Structure defense and fire suppression operations
Wonderland Lake and Dakota Ridge Subdivision
     Helicopter bucket drops to simulate air operations and practice pilot accuracy
     Structure assessments and wildfire defense plan practice
Boulder County Fairground, Longmont
     Simulated Animal Control evacuations of horses/large animals

 The exercise is testing the ability of our first response system to handle a rapidly escalating incident through effective incident management, quick resource mobilization, and holding the incident through a transition process of passing the complexity onto our local specialized Boulder Incident Management Team. The Boulder OEM has been working with the North Central Region All–Hazards Region for the past 18 months preparing the training exercise, which is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) through the State Homeland Security Grant Program. Three other counties are involved to create a regional simulated incident and the State Emergency Operations Center and DHSEM staff are involved in the exercise to test the State’s ability to manage resource scarcity and supporting multiple counties affected by a regional problem.

In the training exercise scenario, a fictitious wildland fire starts in Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District on a hot, dry, windy summer day. The fire advances quickly and will cause immediate evacuation of residents and threaten homes. The City of Boulder will be involved in the scenario when spot fires cause a threat to the Dakota Ridge and Wonderland Lake neighborhoods.

This is a good reminder that residents should also make sure they are prepared for any potential disaster by having their own preparedness plan. Disaster response is a partnership between first responders, local, state and federal governments, disaster-relief organizations, and the public. Having a pre-developed emergency plan, putting together an emergency kit, and understanding how to stay informed is essential to a resilient community.

For more information about preparing for a disaster, please visit:

For more information about the full-scale exercise prior to May 20, contact the Office of Emergency Management at 303-441-3390.

**Members of the media: If you need information about the exercise during the exercise, please call 303-441-1500**