New Dolores Fire P.R. officer warns of winter fire danger


Editor's note: Kimberly Jones is the Dolores Fire Department's new public relations officer. She has been a member of the Rico Volunteer Fire Department for more than 20 years and is now a member the Dolores Fire Department. Her department update follows.

I would like to give a brief summary of happenings within the Dolores Department in 2013. Our department meets every Tuesday evening for business, training, truck check, etc. Some of our members are currently enrolled in a class to become emergency medical technicians.

Also, we are lucky enough to have had the opportunity to use the Dolores High School science/agriculture building for some fire rescue training.

Thank you to the school for allowing us to use the building.

For the year 2013, Dolores Fire has received approximately 61 fire/rescue related calls, and approximately 116 EMS calls.

Annual officer elections were held in December, and our officers for 2014 are: Chief Mike Zion, Assistant Chief Lance Wells, Capt. Jerry Whited, EMS Capt. Jeremy Gonzales, property manager R.J. Cross, DPR officer Kim Jones, safety officer Nick Randall, secretary Cindy Ramsay, and treasurer Katy Murfield.

The newest addition of equipment is an F-550 Super duty power stroke 4-wheel-drive Brush apparatus.

This truck has a 400-gallon water tank and dual hose reel with water and foam capabilities. This truck will come in useful because the wildland fire season is already rearing it's head. We have used this truck on two brush fire incidents.

Both occurred on Jan. 18, and the truck worked beautifully.

While on the topic of wildland fire, I want to bring added importance of control-burn safety. Predictions have been made for an extremely dangerous wildfire season. With very little precipitation this winter, and high winds, it is imperative we all use extreme caution.

With the beautiful warm days we have been experiencing, property owners have begun to clear debris and burn trash piles. You must contact the Cortez Dispatch at 565-8441 before burning. Be aware our fire danger is currently set at moderate. This will change.

Taken from the natural resources series brochure on "Creating wildfire Defensible Space:" "The primary determinants of a home's ability to survive wildfire are its roofing material and the quality of the 'defensible space' surrounding it.

Even small steps taken to protect your home and property will make them more able to withstand fire."

For questions and information, you may contact Becca Samulkski at or call 564-7860. One of the services Becca provides is wildfire home-risk assessments free of charge through the Montezuma Fire Chiefs Association.

She is also the Montezuma County Coordinator for Firewise of Southwest Colorado, a grass-roots organization that works with neighborhoods to prepare for wildfires.