The recent Bobcat Ridge fire in Larimer County, west of Masonville, brings home the importance of getting information to citizens. Larimer County’s Web site, the Virtual Courthouse, offers free subscription to an “Emergency Notification” page, where citizens can simply sign up at http://www.larimer.org/subscriptions.cfm to be notified when emergency information is posted on the Internet.
Currently there are 1,708 subscribers to Emergency Notification Updates page at: http://www.larimer.org/emergency/. The page was instituted in response to requests for more information during the 2000 Bobcat Gulch fire. That fire, not far from Estes Park, brought inquiries from across the country says Larimer County Emergency Management Manager Erik Nilsson with the Sheriff’s Office.
“People with friends and relatives vacationing in Colorado were hearing about the fire on national news and [were] concerned about those people. We didn’t have a mechanism in place to address their concerns. We subsequently created the site and really saw the positive use of it during the Big Elk Meadows fire of 2002. The site created a venue for people to get very current information”.
From Feb. 17 – 20, the recent Bobcat Ridge fire resulted in approximately eight Emergency Information Updates from Nilsson to subscribers. Those updates covered such topics as: the first visible signs of smoke; the size of the fire; containment percentages; location; agencies involved; number of firefighters; and, more. The updates also always point to the County’s Emergency Information page for year-round emergency information.