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After the Disaster Guidebook   arrow

After the Disaster Guidebook

Click here to view a PDF of this Guidebook (link opens in a new tab)

A toolkit for landowners impacted by wildfire.

Table of Contents

  • A Note From Us
  • Acronyms
  • Immediate Safety
  • Communication
  • Mental Health and Self Care
  • Returning to Your Property
  • Insurance, Finance, Important Documents
  • Cleaning & Debris Management
  • Caring for Animals After Wildfire
  • Landscape REcovery
  • Post-Fire Flooding
  • Stay Connected
  • Guidebook Contributors

A Note From Us

It’s difficult to put into words the profoundly life-changing experience of surviving a wildfire. After the flames are out, the road to recovery is about more than filing claims, calls with agencies, clean-up, and what will feel like a never-ending to-do list. It’s about the emotional healing of accepting what was lost, forgiving yourself for what you wish you would have done, and remember to have faith again in the future ahead. The smiles will eventually outweigh the tears—you’ll emerge stronger and be amazed by your resilience.

No two recovery journeys are the same, and each present unique circumstances. CSU Extension has gathered a variety of resources based on insights from subject matter experts and survivors to provide guidance on the road to recovery. We hope you find this toolkit useful as you embark on the journey ahead.

Acknowledgements

This toolkit would not have been possible without contributions from experts at Colorado State University Extension, Colorado State Forest Service, CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Warner College of Natural Resources, and Mesa County. We would like to extend a special thank you to landowners impacted by the Pine Gulch and Cameron Peak Fires for sharing their recovery journey. Thank you to all who contributed.

Acronyms

Listed below are some of the common acronyms and their meaning that are used throughout this guidebook and throughout post-fire recovery.

BAER – Burned Area Emergency Response
BLM – Bureau of Land Management
CDA – Colorado Department of Agriculture
CDPHE – Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
CSFS – Colorado State Forest Service
CSU – Colorado State University
DOI – Division of Insurance
DOLA – Division of Local Affairs
DOR – Department of Revenue
DORA – Department of Regulatory Agencies
EPA – Environmental Protection Agency
EWP – Emergency Watershed Protection
FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
FSA – Farm Service Agency
GIS – Geographic Information Systems
IRS – Internal Revenue Service
MCPH – Mesa County Public Health
NAMI – National Alliance for Mental Illness
NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NRCS – Natural Resources Conservation Service
NWR – NOAA Weather Radio
NWS – National Weather Service
RMIIA – Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association
SRFSN – Southern Rockies Fire Science Network
USDA – United States Department of Agriculture
USFS – United States Forest Service
WAVE – Watershed Assessment and Vulnerability Evaluation

Immediate Safety

Let Others Know You’re Safe

Whether it’s through phone or a designated meeting place, notify family or friends that you’re safe.

Check In at Larimer County’s Evacuation Center

Stopping at the evacuation center is another good way to let others know you’re safe and could prevent firefighters from risking their lives looking for you and your family. It’s also a way to connect with law enforcement, local and county administration, community organizations, and other survivors that may be there. It gives some survivors solace to know that there are people and resources ready to assist.

Wait Until Authorities Say It’s Safe to Return

Returning to the scene puts you and others in danger, as well as obstructing firefighting efforts. The behavior of fires is always changing and if conditions change, no one may know if you’re there. People can be evacuated more than once in the same fire event; repeated returns and evacuations present challenges for emergency responders.

Know When to Call 911

If you feel that you are in immediate danger, call 911. For updates on the fire, contact Larimer County’s non-emergency dispatch line at (970) 416-1985or sign up for text or email emergency alerts from Larimer County Sheriff’s Office at NoCoAlertat nocoalert.org. During an active fire, the InciWebIncident Information System will have details and fire maps that are regularly updated. This information is often more reliable than local news because it is managed by a fire communication specialist.

Limit Wildfire Smoke Exposure

Wildfire smoke harms healthy people, those with pre-existing health conditions, livestock, and pets. To reduce exposure to smoke, keep an eye on air quality reports from Larimer County Public Health or EPA AirNow.

Keep Up With Current Weather Conditions

The NWS Forecast Office in Boulder provides active alerts on weather in Denver/Boulder Colorado. This office also operates transmitters for NOAA Weather Radios for the area by providing 24/7 information on watches, warnings, and advisories

Immediate Safety Resources

NoCoAlert Emergency Alert Sign-Up
nocoalert.org (opens in new tab)

InciWebIncident Information System
inciweb.nwcg.gov (opens in new tab)

Larimer County Air Quality Conditions
larimer.org/naturalresources/trails/air-quality (opens in new tab)

NOAA Weather Radio Western Colorado
https://www.weather.gov/nwr/ (opens in new tab)

Larimer County Office of Emergency Management
larimer.org/emergency (opens in new tab)

EPA Air Now
www.airnow.gov (opens in new tab)

National Weather Service -Boulder
www.weather.gov/bou (opens in new tab)

Communication

Starting a Recovery Notebook

As soon as you’ve reached safety and notified family, friends, and local authorities that you’re safe, it’s time to start making phone calls to insurance, lenders, utilities, and other companies. As you’re making phone calls, there are several details and dates to remember. Starting a recovery notebook to jot down details and keep track of paperwork can help you stay organized throughout recovery.

Phone Call Checklist

Below is a suggested list of calls to make after evacuation based on what best fits your situation.

Insurance Company

Give your insurance company as much information as you have even if you don’t know the outcome of your home and land. Make sure they know the best way to reach you and you, them. This may be a good time to inquire about your policy and the next steps in the claims process. See the Insurance, Finance, and Important Documents section for a list of frequently asked questions for insurance representatives that you may find useful.

Mortgage Company

If you have a mortgage on your home or land, you’ll want to contact your lender’s loss mitigation department and explain what has happened. As with the insurance company call, make sure you know the best way to reach each other as the situation progresses.

Banks & Credit Card Companies

Call your bank and credit card companies to let them know what’s going on. As you’re buying replacement items that your bank or credit card company thinks you already own, it may trigger a fraud alert on your account(s).

Post Office

With your mail, you have a few different options depending on what works best for you. You can request a mail hold for USPS to hold your mail for up to 30 days at usps.com (opens in new tab) or by calling (800) 275-8777. After 30 days you can have your mail forwarded to another address or you can get a P.O. Box.

Doctor and/or Health Insurance

If any medications or supplies were left behind that will need to be replaced immediately, call to see if you are able to get replacements ASAP.

Service Providers (utilities, electricity, gas, water, garbage, internet, etc.)

Notify your home service providers on the situation so that service can be paused or shut off for the time being. Double-check to make sure that your automatic payments are also paused so you aren’t paying for services you won’t use for a while.

Mental Health & Self Care

Disasters typically bring about feelings such as fear, shock, disbelief, grief, anger, and feelings of guilt. Memory loss, anxiety, depression, and flashbacks are all common occurrences. Many people have trouble concentrating, thinking clearly, or sleeping. Linda Masterson, author of Surviving Wildfire, and 2011 Crystal Fire survivor shares tips from experts and her own experience on taking care of yourself and your family during disaster recovery.

It’s okay to not be okay

Allow yourself to recognize your own feelings and be patient with the changes in your emotional state. This is a difficult time, and you don’t have to put on an about-face. No one is perfectly fine after experiencing a wildfire.

Rest and sleep

Sleep deprivation can interfere with your ability to function and make decisions. Try to get as much rest and sleep as you can. Relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing may help if you have ongoing difficulties with sleep. Also avoid working on your claim or watching the news right before bed.

Arrange professional counseling

The Red Cross, Colorado 211, or your primary care doctor can connect you and your family to professionals who specialize in disaster related stress. Most health insurance plans, or employee assistance programs can help cover mental health or psychiatric care.

Engage in healthy behaviors

Eating well and getting some exercise will help you feel better and make your brain work better. Staying hydrated is also important as dehydration can worsen symptoms you may already be experiencing. Also limit or avoid alcohol as it can interfere with your sleep and ability to cope.

Stay connected

Social support is crucial to disaster recovery. Staying connected to your family, friends, neighbors, fellow survivors, and any other support network is helpful as you work through recovery.

Establish or reestablish routines

This can include eating meals at set times, sleeping and waking on a set schedule, or sticking to a workout routine. Include some positive routines, such as taking a walk or reading a good book, to give yourself something to look forward to during these trying times.

Monitor and limit media exposure

During disasters, the non-stop TV, radio, internet, and social media coverage can make things worse. Unfortunately, all of the news may not be completely accurate, which can add to your stress. As compelled as you may feel to follow all of it, try to stick to the daily official briefings.

Mental Health and Self Care Resources

Coping with Disaster
Ready.gov
www.ready.gov/coping-disaster (opens in new tab)

Coping with Natural Disasters
CSU Extension
bit.ly/copingwithnaturaldisasters (opens in new tab)

Helping Children Cope with Disaster
FEMA
www.fema.gov/pdf/library/children.pdf (opens in new tab)

Recovering Emotionally from Disaster
American Psychological Association
www.apa.org/topics/disasters-response/recovering (opens in new tab)

Colorado Crisis Services
1-844-493-8255
coloradocrisisservices.org (opens in new tab)

Local Contacts

Colorado Access – for Health First Colorado/ Medicaid Recipients
(970) 221-8508
www.coaccess.com/members/care (opens in new tab)

Health District of Larimer County
(970) 221-5551
healthdistrict.org (opens in new tab)

SummitstoneHealth Partners
(970) 494-4200
summitstonehealth.org (opens in new tab)

SaludFamily Health Centers – Fort Collins
(970) 494-4040
970-586-9230 (Estes Park)
saludclinic.org (opens in new tab)

Colorado 211 Information & Referral Line
211 or 1(866) 760-6489
www.211colorado.org (opens in new tab)

I was supposed to be a rock, but inside I was crumbling.

When I reached out, I was seconds away from ending my life. Financially, things on our ranch were falling apart – and I felt like a failure. I didn’t want my problems to burden anyone else, so I buried ’em inside. And that’s what almost buried me. Thankfuly, I picked up my phone and called Colorado Crisis Services. I was able to finally get out everything I’d been holding inside, and I realized that trying to be a rock of strength for everyone else had actually caused me to start crumbling inside.

No matter what you’re going through, you don’t have to go through it alone.

Colorado Crisis Services
844-493-TALK (8255)
or text TALK to 38255

Reach out for free, confidential, 24/7 support

Returning to Your Property

Whatever the news, no matter how bad or good it may be, there can be no next steps until you know what you’re dealing with.” -Linda Masterson, Surviving Wildfire

Although the flames are out, unfortunately, there are dangers that remain. Some hazards that may exist include flash flooding, structural damage, unstable roads, weakened trees, hot spots, or wildlife predators that have moved into the area. Survivors recommend making an initial trip to assess the extent of damage, post-fire hazards, and plan for restoration tasks that need to be accomplished first, before beginning clean-up or returning home.

Regardless of the extent of the fire damage to your home or land, returning after the fire will be an emotional experience. For the first viewing and initial assessment, you’ll want to make sure to bring a camera, notepad, and box of Kleenex. The first steps to recovery will start with assessing and documenting your losses.Be sure to take plenty of pictures and notes before moving anything around. If your adjustor is coming with you, take good notes of your conversation.

Also wait to bring back pets and livestock from their evacuation location until you know the extent of damage and hazards that may exist such as, downed fences, hot spots, or predators that may have moved into the area.

Post-Fire Supply List

Below is a suggested list of supplies to grab before you go out to view your property. Feel free to adapt this list based on your situation or add other items on the right.

  • Attire
    • Sturdy, close-toed shoes
    • Work gloves
    • Long sleeves and pants you don’t mind getting dirty
    • Masks (N-95 or P-100 rated)
    • Hard hat
  • Supplies for documenting damage
    • Camera (cell phone camera will do)
    • File folders
    • Pens
    • Highlighters
    • Post-it notes
    • Laptop
  • Cleaning supplies
    • Heavy duty trash bags
    • Household cleaner
    • Bucket
    • Bleach
    • Dish soap
    • Cleaning towels and rags
    • Vacuum with HEPA filter
    • Tarps
    • Broom
    • Rake
  • First aid supplies
    • Battery powered radio (for updates and weather reports)
    • Batteries
    • Aspirin
    • Adhesive bandages
    • Sterile gloves
    • Ointment (antibiotic and burn)
    • Soap
    • Sunscreen
    • Insect repellent with DEET
    • Thermometer
    • Antibiotic wipes
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Snacks and water
    • Non-perishable snacks (e.g., granola bars, crackers, jerky)
    • Bottled or gallons of water

Safety Tips for Returning

When you are given approval by a fire authority to return to your property, keep the following safety tips in mind as you re-enter.

Keep and Eye (or Ear) on the Weather

When rain falls over a burned area upstream of your location after a wildfire, flash flooding can occur. Avoid burned areas, storm drains and natural drainages. Keep a NOAA weather radio handy for emergency updates, weather, and news reports.

Use Caution & Good Judgment

Smoke, sparks, ash pits, hot spots, or hidden embers should be avoided. Deeply charred or smoking trees, poles, and wires on the ground are dangerous. If another fire or emergency occurs while assessing damage, call 911.

Driving and Walking The Property

Watch for downed or unstable trees, brush, rocks, and utility poles. Roads may also have debris or damage. Take a walk around the property to find hotspots and downed fences to help keep pets and livestock safe.

Arriving at Your Home

Prior to returning, check in with your local fire authority to make sure it’s safe to return. Be wary of structural instability and hot embers. Check gutters, roofs, overhangs, decks, and wood/debris piles for embers. Look for any hot embers in attics, crawl spaces, or vents.

Check for Utility Damage

Before using any utilities, lines, meters, or propane tanks should be inspected by a professional for damage. Call your service provider to see if their technicians have already come to your property to inspect your utilities or see if an appointment needs to be scheduled.

Accessing Your Water & Septic System

Before using a private well, it should be inspected for damage. Depending on the damage, a well technician may be needed. The fire may have contaminated water, so test it before drinking it. Water testing kits are available through Larimer County Department of Health and Environment.

Resoration Tasks & Next Steps

As you assess your property, develop a plan for restoration tasks that will need to be completed. Some tasks to consider may include but are not limited to, securing the site against further damage, estimating and repairing structural damage, and general cleaning. Depending on the level of damage, assistance of a building or utility professional may be required.

Returning to Your Property Resources

Addressing the Impacts of Wildfire on Water Resources – CSU Extension (link opens in new tab)

Assessing Your Homesite After a Wildfire – CSU Extension (link opens in new tab)

Emergency Water Supplies & Treatment – CSU Extension (link opens in new tab)

Use of Wells and Septic Systems Following a Wildfire – CSU Extension (link opens in new tab)

What to Do After a Wildfire: Returning Home & Recovering After a Wildfire – American Red Cross (link opens in new tab)

LOCAL CONTACTS

Estes Park Light & Power (link opens in new tab)
(970) 577-4800

Poudre Valley REA
(link opens in new tab)
800-435-1012

Xcel Energy (link opens in new tab)
800-895-2999

Black Hills Energy (previously SourceGas) (link opens in new tab)
888-890-5554

Utility Locates of Colorado (link opens in new tab)
(719) 355-5222

Insurance, Finance, & Important Documents

Destructive wildfires can be financially stressful, and even, in some cases, devastating. Having good records organized and stored in a safe location (e.g., safe deposit boxes, digital backups) will make insurance claims, taxes, and filing for financial assistance go smoother down the road. The resources on the following pages can help you work with insurance, finance and funding options, and replace important documents. Here are a few more financial pointers to keep in mind.

  • Before beginning any clean-up, restoration, or debris removal, contact your insurance representative to review your policy coverages, set up a timeline for meeting with your adjustor, and determining the best way to document losses. For help finding your insurer or agent, reach out to the Colorado Division of Insurance at (303) 894-7490 or visit doi.colorado.gov (opens in new tab).
  • Take several photos from multiple angles or videos with narration to describe the damage and previous features of your home, personal property, and land. This will help with insurance claims and applications for assistance programs.
  • Survivors recommend double checking your phone for old photos to help give you and the insurance company an idea of what possessions have been lost or damaged. For example, if you have a photo from a holiday gathering in your living room last year, you may be able to see items in the background that you can add to your home inventory.
  • Keeping track of your receipts from restoration and recovery projects will be important as you work through your insurance claim or apply for assistance programs. Also, look through your email account for any pre-fire purchases to help with valuing items.
  • Flood preparedness is a top priority following a wildfire; if possible, flood insurance should be purchased. Visit www.floodsmart.gov (opens in new tab) to learn more about flood insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions for Insurance Representatives

Below is a list of questions that people frequently ask their insurance company following a major loss that you may find useful. Feel free to modify, add, or remove questions for your situation and don’t forget to take good notes. Questions adapted from Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

  • How much is my home (or property) insured for?
  • What is covered by my insurance policy and how much is my deductible?
  • When should I expect to hear from my adjuster?
  • Does my policy cover the replacement value for my home and property?
  • What is the best way for me to document damage and start my inventory? Is there a specific template or form I should use?
  • Does my policy cover additional living expenses? If so, for how long or is there a spending limit?
  • Does my policy include debris removal and clean-up coverage?
  • What coverage do I have for my detached buildings (garage, shops, barns)?
  • Does my policy help cover the cost of replacing trees, shrubs, and other landscaping?
  • Does my policy cover the increased cost of upgrades based on changes in building codes or laws? If so, how much?
  • What coverage do I have in case of post-fire flooding? If I don’t have coverage, what options do I have?
  • Will my homeowners policy or automobile policy pay for vehicles that were parked in my garage and damaged?
  • Are there any discounts I qualify for or ways I can decrease my premium?

Insurance Resources

As you assess losses and begin working with insurance, check out the resources below for templates, pro-tips, and more information.

Ag Damage Assessment and Economic Loss Estimation – United States Department of Agriculture (opens in a new tab)

Colorado Step-by-Step Home Insurance Claim Guide – Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) (opens in a new tab)

How to Create a Home Inventory – United Policyholders (opens in a new tab)

Insurance Claim Tips for Partial Loss Fires – United Policyholders (opens in a new tab)

Insurance Tips for Coloradans Impacted by Wildfires – Colorado Division of Insurance (opens in a new tab)

Sample Insurance Claim Letters and Documents – United Policyholders (opens in a new tab)

Financial Resources

Disaster Losses and Related Tax Rules – Rural Tax Education (opens in a new tab)

Weather-Related Sales of Livestock – Rural Tax Education (opens in a new tab)

Properties Destroyed by Natural Disaster (Video) – Colorado Division of Taxation
(opens in a new tab)

Wildfire Relief – American Red Cross (opens in a new tab)

Disaster Assistance Programs – Farm Service Agency (opens in a new tab)

Emergency Watershed Protection Program Factsheet – Natural Resources Conservation Service (opens in a new tab)

Grants & Funding Assistance – Colorado State Forest Service (opens in a new tab)

Local Contacts

Larimer County Assessor (opens in a new tab)
(970) 498-7050

National Flood Insurance Program (opens in a new tab)
(
800) 621-FEMA

Larimer County Clerk & Recorder (opens in a new tab)
(970) 498-7860

Larimer County Treasurer
(opens in a new tab)
(970) 498-7020

Larimer County Farm Service Agency (FSA) (opens in a new tab)
(970) 295-5665

Fort Collins IRS Office (opens in a new tab)
(844) 545-5640

Replacing Important Documents

If you were unable to make it out of your house with important personal documents, check below for more information on how to replace them (all links below open in a new tab).

Cleaning and Debris Management

After confirming your insurance coverage, scheduling a time to meet with your adjuster, and record any damages or losses, you may be ready to start the clean-up process. Whether damaged or destroyed, you’ll want to be familiar with safe clean-up, disposal, and debris management practices. Your needs may vary depending on the extent of the damage and whether you hire contractors or do it yourself. The below we have resources for the most common clean-up, disposal, and debris management issues that may arise.

Resource adapted from Mesa County Sheriff’s Office

Ash can be deposited on indoor and outdoor surfaces during and after wildfires and contains trace amounts of cancer-causing chemicals. The ash from trees and vegetation is typically non-toxic; ash from constructions can be contaminated with mercury, asbestos, and lead, making it toxic.Fire ash can irritate skin, especially sensitive skin. Inhaled ash can induce nasal and throat irritation, as well as coughing. Asthma episodes can be triggered by airborne ash. As you begin the clean-up process, keep the following health and safety tips in mind.

Tips for Safely Cleaning Fire Ash

  • Keep children, pets, and livestock out of burn debris or ash sites.
  • Well-fitting N-95 or P-100 masks can help protect during cleanup by blocking more ash particle inhalation than dust or surgical masks.
  • When cleaning ash, wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants to avoid skin contact. If you, a family member, or pet comes into contact with ash, wash it off as quickly as possible.
  • As much as possible, avoid stirring or shifting ash. Before lightly sweeping, mist indoor and outdoor hard surfaces to keep down dust. Follow up with wet mopping or a damp cloth.
  • On lightly dusted indoor and outdoor surfaces a damp cloth or wet mop may be all that is needed.
  • If available, utilize HEPA filter vacuums instead of shop vacuums or other non-HEPA vacuums. HEPA filter vacuums will filter out minute particles rather than blowing them into the air.
  • Food, beverages, or medications that have been exposed to burn debris or ash should not be consumed.
  • If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, thoroughly wash the produce before eating.
  • Clean all utensils and dishware before use by washing them in a strong detergent solution and then soaking them in a bleach solution of one teaspoon of bleach per quart of water for 15 minutes.

Cleaning Resources

Check out the following resources for more information on safe and effective after wildfire clean-up in your home.

Debris & Disposal Resources

A good place to start is by checking in with your local landfill restrictions for disposing fire debris, hazardous materials, carcasses, and other waste. Larimer County Landfill can be contacted by calling 970-498-5770 or visiting their website (opens in new tab).

Caring for Animals After Wildfire

When you’re ready to bring pets and lifestock back, remember to handle them calmly and carefully. They will likely be stressed or confused and may react with unexpected behavior. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • When it is safe to do so, check pens, barns, and sheds for damage, and check pastures for debris. Move animals to safe areas.
  • Check pets and livestock for injury and tend to minor injuries promptly. For animals with serious injuries or long -term behavioral issues, contact a veterinarian for help.
  • Make sure your animals have plenty of fresh food and water. Cover their food, hay, and water to keep ash and other contaminants out.
  • Smoke, while irritating to humans, can be harmful to animals. If you can see or feel the effects of smoke, take precautions to protect your pets and livestock from smoke exposure.
  • Animals can become disoriented easily after a wildfire and get lost. Be sure that pets and livestock are wearing their identifiers (collars with IDs, microchips, tags, brands, etc.) with your name, address, and phone number.
  • To look for lost and found pets, contact the Larimer Humane Society at 970-226-3674 or at their website (opens in new tab).
  • For animals needing to be rescued or for help with carcass disposal, call your county’s emergency management services or county Extension office.
  • Document and report all livestock and poultry losses immediately to your county Farm Service Agency (FSA).
  • After wildfire, be sure your livestock are pastured somewhere safe from post -fire flooding, if possible.

Animal Care Resources

Local Contacts

Landscape Recovery

Following a destructive wildfire, landowners will need to assess the surrounding landscape and determine how best to affect restorative treatments. Immediate concern should be for the stabilization of soils to help prevent or mitigate flooding, erosion, mudslides, and other hazards. Colorado’s diverse topography, paired with burn severity of the area can make each landscape treatment plan vary. The following pages contain landscape recovery resources for soil erosion, seeding, trees, and key contacts. Local CSU Extension agents, NRCS, and CSFS foresters can also help provide recommendations.

Landscape Recovery Resources

Soil Erosion

Seeding

Trees & Vegetation

Local Contacts

Post-Fire Flooding

Wildfires have increased the risk of flooding in many areas of Colorado in recent years. The dramatic changes in landscape and ground conditions after wildfires increases the risk of flooding during heavy rains. Burned landscape is unable to absorb rain as effectively as it did before the fire, resulting in runoff conditions like those found in parking lots. Flooding is most common during the summer and early fall, when thunderstorms develop during the monsoon season. Rainfall over the burned area collects in streams causing flash floods carrying downed trees, boulders, gravel, and other debris. The resources on the following pages will help landowners downstream understand how to reduce risk and prepare for flooding.

Post-Fire Flooding Resources

Local Contacts

  • Larimer Office of Emergency Management(970-498-7147
  • Larimer County Emergency Alerts – Text “Flood2021” to 888-777
  • NRCS Fort Collins (link opens in new tab)
    • (970) 492-7000

Stay Connected

Every loss and the emotions that come with it matter. It’s okay to grieve life prior to the wildfire, mourn what has been lost, feel overwhelmed by the work ahead, and the multitude of other feelings you may experience. Like the wildflowers, you too will grow again in new ways you may not have thought possible.


Throughout the development of this guidebook, one theme held constant. Amidst the heartbreak, we found ourselves captivated by the resilience of survivors and their land. Although it may feel like all is lost, your connections with
family, friends, and the community will prove to be the most valuable asset to your recovery.


Whether you’ve known CSU Extension and our partners for awhile or we’ve just connected, we hope to stay in touch
along the way. Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance.


You’ve got this.

Larimer County Extension
(970) 498-6000
larimerextension.org (opens in new tab)

Colorado State Forest Service
Fort Collins Office
(970) 491-8660
csfs.colostate.edu/fort-collins (opens in new tab)

Larimer County
(970) 498-7000
Larimer.org (opens in new tab)

Guidebook Contributors

The contributors listed below were able to bring a wide range of perspectives including, landowners that experienced postfire impacts, extension agents that have assisted with recovery efforts, and subject-matter experts on emergency management, forestry, fire science, animal care, and communication. We hope you find this toolkit useful, and we
welcome any feedback you may have so that we can continue to improve it.

  • Channing Bice, Public Communication & Technology PhD Student, Department of Journalism & Media Communication, CSU
  • Susan Carter, Horticulture and Natural Resources Agent CSU Extension: Tri-River Area
  • Todd Hagenbuch, County Director and Agriculture Agent, CSU Extension: Routt County
  • Doug Dean, Area Director and Livestock & Range Agent, CSU Extension: Tri-River Area
  • Carolina Manriquez, Northwest Area Forester, Colorado State Forest Service
  • Ragan Adams, Veterinary Extension Specialist, Department of Clinical Sciences, CSU
  • Gloria Edwards, Southern Rockies Fire Science Network Program Coordinator, Warner College of Natural Resources, CSU
  • Todd Hollenbeck, Deputy County Manager, Mesa County Colorado
  • Tom Brigham, Landowner and Pine Gulch Fire Survivor, Garfield County, Colorado
  • Malli Larson, Landowner and Pine Gulch Fire Survivor, Garfield County, Colorado
  • Justin Wilson, Landowner and Cameron Peak Fire Survivor, Larimer County, Colorado
  • Ellis Thompson-Ellis, Community Outreach Specialist, Grand Junction Fire Department
  • Kamie Long, District Forester, Colorado State Forest Service
  • Olivia Clark, Extension Director and Agent, CSU Extension: Grand County
  • Karen Crumbaker, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, CSU Extension: Larimer County


Temporary Office Closure

Our office is closed Monday, February 21st, 2022.

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