The BHR POA is now requiring property owners to contact their respective fire prevention district for permission before building a fire. If your property is in Huerfano County call (719-738-1877) if in Las Animas County call (719-456-1363).
Today we are asking for your cooperation as we attempt to be more strategic in our management of intentional open fires on the ranch. We are making each resident who decides they need to ignite an open fire on their ranch property solely responsible for determining if that is a decision that our Las Animas or Huerfano County Fire Protection Districts will support / allow. Given our forest conditions, anyone anticipating building such a fire should think LONG and HARD before doing so, making sure weather conditions, wind, etc. are right for such an undertaking. Seeking permission from the Fire Protection Districts should be the first step in that process. If they prohibit you from lighting an open fire due to existing conditions, simply don’t do it!
To support this approach, we will be erecting new signs at the entrances to Blackhawk Ranch. The signage below directs the individual property owner to call the appropriate Fire Protection District in the county in which their property is located to determine whether igniting an open fire is endorsed and permitted at a specific location and time. They will either approve or prohibit such a fire depending upon the weather, the size, and fuels of the planned fire.
HISTORICAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE BHR POA BOARD’S DECISION
As most of you are aware, this year Blackhawk Ranch was threatened by two different wildfires: the Trujillo Creek Fire and the Titan Fire. The Trujillo Creek Fire came close enough to Blackhawk that Big Horn Ranch (our neighbor to our South/East) was placed on pre-evacuation. As you all should be aware, we are in the middle of a decades-long drought in our region which makes our beautifully wooded ranch, actually a tinderbox. While we each spring, summer and fall do strategic projects to reduce the fuel burdens on our ranch, we are not as far along as we want to be. While we have had fires on Blackhawk, which were all eventually extinguished, none of them to date were human caused. Keep that in mind.
With that as a backdrop, what was interesting about the two earlier fires this summer was that both were determined to be HUMAN CAUSED. Given that, the POA Board has decided to rethink the way that we manage open fires on Blackhawk. In that re-evaluation, we consulted the Fire Protection Districts in both Las Animas and Huerfano Counties. Their feedback to us, was that our current approach to Signage was not effective and that they believed that a sign that states the fire danger as low, medium, high and extreme simply was not effective and likely ignored by the majority of Blackhawk residents. Ok, message received!
RECAP OF CONTACT INFORMATION
Remember the numbers to call for Huerfano County (719-738-1877) and Las Animas County (719-456-1363) are for the Fire Protection District in each county. You will be speaking to fire fighters or dispatchers. DO NOT CALL THE RESPECTIVE COUNTY GOVERNMENET OFFICES! Additionally, in the case of Huerfano County, you will be calling the Fire Chief on his cell phone, which is used for his appliance repair business as well as his role as Fire Chief; expect to leave a message on his phone mail and wait for a call back.
Given the fact that a fire that escapes control on one property can threaten the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, dreams and heavy investments of all our neighbors, we ask that you carefully and soberly consider these new restrictions. We do not want a human caused fire to destroy our beautiful slice of paradise here on Blackhawk, as we continue our attempts to prevent or contain fires from natural causes.
* It should be noted that these Blackhawk Ranch restrictions are in addition to those controlled burn requirements found in Huerfano County Ordinance No. 22-01 related to large controlled open burns (e.g., large slash piles, etc.) which can also be found on the Blackhawk Ranch Website under Committees>Emergency Management.
Questions? Contact Brad Brooks, Blackhawk EMC Chair (719-252-5621 or email@example.com)
Thank you from your POA Board!