Category Archives: Emergency Services

Survey: Hazard Mitigation Plan

We are asking Baca County residents to participate in our Hazard Mitigation Plan Update survey.

Participate: 2019 Hazard Mitigation Survey

This winter, the Southeast Region will release a public draft of the updated hazard mitigation plan. One final component of the plan is your community’s vision for reducing the risks posed by natural and human-caused hazards. This mitigation strategy is the most important piece of the plan.

To inform the local planning committee, the public is being asked for input. Residents and businesses are encouraged to share thoughts on their community’s mitigation strategy to implement over the next five years.

The brief five-minute survey can be found here. survey link – https://forms.gle/Rs9HGW7qHLGAgGY26

Hazard Survey – Help us out

The SE Colorado Region is looking for your input about the hazards that our communities face. As part of the on-going hazard mitigation planning process, your information will help inform the planning team. Ultimately, your contribution will assist your community in developing a robust hazard mitigation strategy for reducing or eliminating hazard risk. The brief five-minute survey can be found below.

We want you to take this survey to help us out:
https://forms.gle/EqY4bnEtCbBTr62CA

Safety Training Exercises – Aug 16

Baca County will be performing safety training exercises on August 16, 2019 from 8:40am to 1:00pm. The training will involve first responders and players practicing. Some roads will be closed while we hold our training exercise.

If you have any questions, give us a call at the Emergency Management office.

Download Full Info: Baca County Decontamination Exercise PDF

Emergency Manager of the Year

On February 21, 2019, during the conference for Colorado Emergency Management Association (CEMA) Baca County’s Emergency Manager, Jennifer Leathers, was awarded the 2018 Emergency Manager of the Year award for the Southeast All-Hazards Region.  Jennifer faced many challenges in 2018, including the Stateline and Badger Hole fires last spring.  Jennifer has been a great asset to Baca County.  Congratulations to Jennifer on this much deserved recognition!

Badger Hole Fire – Contained

Walsh, CO – On April 19, the Badger Hole Fire is considered to be at 100 percent containment. There are, however, still some hot spots within the fire perimeter. The Southeast Colorado Power Association has announced that all power has been restored to residential properties. There were 70 firefighters and 15 personnel assigned to work the fire today. The crews focused on fire suppression and assessing and compiling a list of the loss and damage sustained. With life safety always being the number one priority in incident response, we are happy to report that there have been no lives lost, and no serious injuries sustained.

Spike Ausmus, Chairman, Baca County Board of County Commissioners, “We want to sincerely thank the community members, organizations, businesses, and farmers and ranchers that gave their time, skills, and in-kind donations to assist with this fire. We appreciate that our county staff, especially the road and bridge crews, have put in significant amount of work over the last several days. We are also very grateful for the resources that arrived from around the state to assist our community. While this fire is one of the largest disasters this community has ever faced, we know that we will rebuild, and be better, stronger and more resilient than we were before.”

The fire crews and other personnel from around the state were provided as part of an agreement with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) and the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM). The DFPC also provided Multi-Mission Aircraft, which provide intelligence such as the fire perimeter, hot spot and acreage size, as well as sent an agency administrator to assist with the incident.

Jerry Casebolt, Southeast Colorado All-Hazards Region said, “Because of the complexity of this incident, a Type 3 All-Hazards Incident Management Team was requested through DHSEM. We are incredibly thankful that the team helped us manage and document the incident, and provided us examples of best practices, which will better prepare our community for future large incidents.

For those wishing to make a monetary donation for recovery efforts related to the Badger Hole Fire, you may do so at Frontier Bank, located at 501 N. Colorado Street, P.O. Box 99, Walsh, CO 81090. Please make checks payable to: Southeast Emergency Preparedness Alliance with “Walsh Fire Recovery” in the memo line.

The American Legion Post #48 Jake Reigel’s parking lot, located at 200 S. Colorado Street, Walsh, is the designated collection point for all agriculture-related donations such as feed and fencing supplies. Contact the Baca County Sheriff’s Office at 719.523.6677 to make an agriculture donation and someone will be sent to assist in the unloading and organizing.

The Badger Hole Fire began early in the afternoon on April 17, and is located in eastern Baca County and western Kansas. Another flyover from the MMA has updated the estimated total acreage burned. In Colorado 33,609 acres have burned and in Kansas 17,249 acres have burned, for a total of 50,858 acres. Multiple homes, outbuildings, livestock, and infrastructure losses have been reported.

Checks may be mailed to:
Frontier Bank
501 N. Colorado Street
P.O. Box 99
Walsh, CO 81090
(719)324-5206You can also stop by the bank and donate or make a transfer over the phone.

Type 3 Incident Management Team
Carrie Haverfield, Public Information Officer
720-470-9994

Badger Hole Fire – Thanks to everyone who helped

Most recently, Baca County has dealt with a second large fire (the Badger Hole Fire); this one under extremely windy conditions. Response from crews far and wide helped battle this blaze. Many firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and volunteers from many agencies were available to fight this monster.

The Board of County Commissioners want to express its thanks to all these responders, and to give a large shout out to its Road and Bridge crews. These men spent many hours using their knowledge operating equipment needed to help battle this blaze. Their tireless efforts helped with the containment and is very much appreciated.

This fire was in Commissioner Ausmus’ district (District 1); however, the crews from all three districts were on hand to help. Thank you all for a job well done!

Badger Hole Fire Update


View: Full size Badger Fire Map

As of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, most recent totals of the Badger Hole Fire, which began April 17 in the early hours of the afternoon and is located in eastern Baca County and western Kansas, is 48,455 acres, with 33,384 acres in Colorado and 15,026 acres in Kansas; it is currently 85 percent contained. Multiple homes and outbuildings have been lost; livestock losses are being reported but verified numbers were not available at time of this release. Those who have lost livestock or property should document all losses with location details and photographic evidence.

There are now 31 agencies, involving over 100 personnel including command staff and a 30-man hand crew. A new command team arrived to relieve local command staff. Southeast Colorado Power Association is working feverishly to restore power to those affected.

The Baca County Salvation Army Service Extension Unit has established a comfort station and is providing nourishment for responders. The American Red Cross is assisting displaced homeowners and anyone needing help can contact them at the Walsh Wesleyan Church, 43000 US Highway 160, Walsh Colorado, 719.324.5500.

Those wishing to make a monetary donation for recovery efforts related to the Badger Hole Fire, may do so at the Frontier Bank, P.O. Box 99, Walsh, CO, 81090, 719.324.5200. Make checks payable to: Southeast Emergency Preparedness Alliance with “Walsh Fire Recovery” in the memo line.

The parking lot of the American Legion Post #48 in Walsh Colorado is the designated collection point for all agriculture-related donations such as feed and fencing supplies. Contact the Baca County Sheriff’s office (719.523.6677) to make an agriculture donation and someone will be sent to assist in the unloading and organizing.