Remarkable firefighting command post takes shape | PostIndependent.com
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Remarkable firefighting command post takes shape

Kay Vasilakis

New Castle residents who came to hear Incident Commander Joe Hartman and other fire officials from the Rocky Mountain Incident Management team talk about the Spring Creek Fire on Sunday saw firsthand an efficient administration of a large multi-agency command post.From the approach to Riverside School, at least 100 tents can be seen. Getting closer to the school, several semi-trailer trucks, the Alpine Hot Shots trucks, large supply tents, a communications post and a medical unit are visible, and you could start to comprehend how organized this effort really is. Various agencies including the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Colorado Forest Service, and private enterprise are coordinating efforts for the Spring Creek Fire. Inside the school, one of the normal walls of artwork in the school was covered with newspaper clippings about the Spring Creek Fire and news of other fires in the west. Many maps are posted, including an updated perimeters map. Large copies of Fire Orders and other fire procedures are also posted in various locations around the school. Huge fans are set up to cool the different agency personnel working with laptop computers concerning their specific duties in relation to the fire. On Sunday, a Powerpoint presentation with very recent and graphic photos of the fire and the crews was made to the public audience. Hartman and other personnel made the presentation and handed out detailed information printed up Sunday morning. Fire strategy and air tanker and helicopter support strategy was discussed with the audience. Questions from the audience ranged from slurry to buffer zones to water supply concerns, which were answered calmly and reassured residents. If evacuation does become a requirement, residents were told that it would be best not to try to defend their homes themselves, and they would have a couple hours to gather their valuables and leave the area. Residents were encouraged to, as soon as possible, create a defensible space around their homes, clearing out bushes and other materials.Daily community information briefings are held at Riverside School at 3 p.m. in the small gym.From everyone in New Castle and the entire Western Slope, we thank all the firefighters for their incredible, extremely exhausting work. It takes a very special person to be a firefighter, giving so much of themselves to defend our homes and forests. God Bless Firefighters.Edna Sample of the New Castle Historical Museum reminds everyone that the facility is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. Anyone is welcome to come and see new displays including a loom and spinning wheel, and to learn more of our local history. Copies of “The Legend of the Burning Mountain and Early History of New Castle” by Dale Shrull are available for sale at the museum.-The menu for the CMC Senior Nutrition Luncheon at the New Castle Community Center on Monday, July 8, will be cornflake baked chicken, au gratin potatoes, peas and carrots, coleslaw, rye roll and orange sherbet.-Please call me at 984-2308 if you have any New Castle news to share. Thank a firefighter today!


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