In the aftermath of the Marshall Fire, many Arvada residents have had questions regarding how the City prepares for these kinds of emergency events. Below are several questions the City has received from residents.
How do I register to get emergency notifications?
Currently, the CodeRED system is used by emergency services agencies in Jefferson and Broomfield counties to help disseminate information regarding critical incidents. In addition to Jefferson and Broomfield counties, there are portions of Adams and Clear Creek Counties included in CodeRED notifications.
Landlines are automatically included in CodeRED notifications, but residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the CodeRED registration website to add additional contact information, including additional cell phone numbers, SMS (text) and email address preferences. You may also elect to receive severe weather notifications.
In early 2022, the CodeRED system will be transitioned to a new vendor. Residents may need to opt back into the new system when it is available. The City and Arvada Fire will share information as soon as it is available.
If you do not have internet access or need assistance, please contact the Jefferson County Communications Center Authority at www.jeffcom911.org.
What are the different types of emergency notifications and what do they mean?
Shelter-in-place: Stay put
There is a hazard in your area and you should remain or go indoors. Do not go outdoors and do not evacuate the area. This may be the safest strategy for hazardous materials spills, law enforcement activity, or other incidents where an evacuation could actually increase the threat to your safety.
Pre-evacuation: Prepare to leave
There is a hazard in your area that may require you to evacuate in the near future. Everyone should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. If you feel you are in danger and want to leave now, do not wait. You should also consider leaving now instead of waiting for an evacuation order if you meet any of these conditions:
You need additional time to evacuate
You need to arrange for transportation assistance
You have livestock or other large animals that need to be evacuated
Evacuation: Leave now
There is a hazard in your area and you have been ordered to evacuate immediately. Do not pack up valuables. Take only what you need and GET OUT. If you need assistance evacuating yourself or animals, call 9-1-1. If you are provided the safest escape route, make sure you follow the instructions, as other routes may be closed or impassable.
Are there plans for another entrance/exit to Leyden Rock and Leyden Ranch for evacuation purposes?
The Leyden subdivision currently has four points of general access to/from the adjacent major arterial (W 82nd Ave) for connectivity to SH-93, SH-72 (Indiana St). A fifth access point, near Indiana/82nd intersection, is established for emergency access via Moss Cir. cul-de-sac. There are no plans for another entrance/exit to Leyden Rock and Leyden Ranch. It’s worth noting that with increased traffic demand, the City’s long-range Transportation Plan includes roadway improvements to mitigate growth and congestion. In the event of an emergency that requires evacuation, Arvada PD, Arvada Fire Protection District and other City teams will identify possible evacuation routes and communicate them via a reverse 911 system.
The best way to be prepared for an emergency is to ensure you and other members of your household are registered for Reverse 911. Then, you can take steps to be emergency-ready. Ready.gov is a great resource for planning for emergency situations: https://www.ready.gov/plan
Is the city planning to underground all power lines so that they can’t get blown down and potentially cause a wildfire?
Electric power lines are Xcel Energy facilities and not the property of the City of Arvada. Xcel Energy has a plan involving a combination of initiatives, including detailed inspections of overhead electric infrastructure, system hardening and upgrades, tree removal, public outreach and community town halls, direct communication with fire agencies, and a more-than $550 million investment in wildfire mitigation. You can learn more about their program at https://www.xcelenergywildfireprotection.com/program-details/.
In addition to the work Xcel is undertaking, when the City undertakes capital improvement projects that will affect overhead power lines, we work with Xcel Energy to underground adjacent facilities. Our current bond projects on Ralston Road and W 72nd Ave are good examples of undergrounding overhead lines in conjunction with roadway improvements.
Does our community have a plan for an event like the Marshall Fire?
Yes. Arvada and all of Jefferson County have a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from disasters or hazardous events like the Marshall Fire. The plan addresses many types of hazardous events in addition to wildfires, such as floods, earthquakes, tornados, and even cyber-attacks.
The impacts of hazards can often be lessened or even avoided if appropriate actions are taken before events occur. The Jefferson County HMP was updated in 2021 and describes what the County and jurisdictions will do to reduce their vulnerability to the hazards. You can access the plan here: https://www.jeffco.us/488/Hazard-Mitigation-Plan.
Have the City of Arvada and Arvada Fire done anything to prevent a catastrophic wildfire from occurring in Arvada?
Yes. The City of Arvada, the Arvada Fire Protection District, and Jefferson County have previously and continue to collaborate to protect our community from Wildfire.
For example, the City has adopted various Fire and Building Codes to prevent fires and to minimize the spread of fire from building to building. The City has also constructed and maintained a reliable water system for use during fire suppression. The City also holds periodic community clean-up events so that citizens can dispose of combustible vegetation and other items.
On the perimeter of our community, the City and Homeowner Associations (HOAs) collaborate to mow down grassy areas to create a buffer zone between undeveloped areas and developed areas, such as around the neighborhoods of Spring Mesa, Leyden Rock, and the town of Leyden, to name just a few.
Could a catastrophic fire like the Marshall Fire happen in Arvada?
Yes. Many areas in Arvada are very similar to the areas in Louisville and Superior that were devastated by the Marshall Fire. If a fire ignited during wind conditions like those during the Marshall fire, we could experience something similar here in Arvada.
However, there are still many things that citizens and government can do to prevent fires and minimize the impact when they do occur, such as advocating the adoption and enforcement of fire and building codes designed to protect people and property. Citizens can also become educated about fire safety and be especially vigilant about avoiding the use of open flames outdoors during high wind conditions.
What can residents do to protect their property from a wildfire?
There are many things that residents and homeowners can do to protect their property from wildfire, such as the following:
Clean leaves, pine needles and anything that can burn from roofs and gutters.
Where possible, remove flammable items within 30 feet of the home including firewood piles, portable propane tanks, and dry and dead vegetation.
Plant vegetation with high moisture content around buildings. Only use nonflammable materials, like rock, around vegetation. Keep anything that can burn at least 5 feet from buildings.
Remove items stored under decks or porches; replace vegetation in these areas with rock or gravel.
Report any downed power lines or fires by immediately calling 911.
For more information about protecting your property, visit
What is the City doing to manage wildfire risk in our community open spaces?
The City, along with our partners in Arvada Fire, identify areas for fire mitigation. One example is a planned prescribed burn in the Pattridge Park & Open Space area. There is no exact date set for the burn as conditions will be monitored to ensure the burn is handled in the safest manner.
A prescribed fire decreases the risk of an uncontrolled fire and gives firefighters valuable experience with live fires. Burning the prairie also improves conditions native plants and wildlife and helps control invasive species.
Arvada Fire Protection District personnel are asking people who are near Pattridge Park to let them know if they have any health conditions which may be bothered by the smoke. AFPD is seeking contact information for those individuals so that they can notify them of the burn 48 hours in advance so that they can take necessary precautions. Individuals may share their contact information by either emailing email@example.com or calling 303-424-3012.
How can I help those affected by the Marshall Fire?
The impacts of the Marshall Fire will require long-term support for our neighbors. Many in our community are looking for ways to help those affected. The best route is to use the official channels established to provide aid.
Register to volunteer:
- by City Manager