Watching local Rotary clubs serving their communities is always motivational. From their literacy programs for school kids to scholarships for college-bound high schoolers, Backpack school food programs, youth leadership camps, and the Rotary Foundations’ grants funding worthy nonprofits around the community, there are countless examples to be inspired by and to feel gratitude for the giving spirits of our local communities’ Rotarians.

Once again, when there is a need, we see action in their collective giving spirits: the local clubs’ Rotary Wildfire Ready programs being revved up for community presentations in May. Personal gratitude is again extended to Leonor McCall-Rodriguez for her contribution to this month’s column.

Living in the Colorado foothills requires constant awareness and residents’ actions toward water preservation, fire mitigation, environmental stewardship and preservation efforts of the gifts offered by the wonderful setting we are privileged to call home. Area Rotarians have long been collaborators in these activities including recycling, road clean up and green projects.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every year, wildfires burn across the U.S., and more and more people are living where wildfires are a real risk. Nearly 45 million homes abut or intermingle with wildlands and more than 72,000 U.S. communities are now at risk. But, by working together, residents can make their own property—and their neighborhood—much safer from wildfire.

Rotary Wildfire Ready is the most recent collaboration between local Rotary Clubs including Evergreen Rotary, Conifer Rotary and Mountain Foothills Rotary. This community-based program is designed to increase wildfire awareness and help make our mountain communities safer from the threat of wildfire. Rotary partners with local fire departments and community leaders in Evergreen, Conifer and Lookout Mountain to help our communities become fire adapted with residents who are knowledgeable, engaged and prepared for wildfire.

The National Fire Protection Association has designated May 1, 2021 as Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. This is a national campaign that encourages organizations and people everywhere to come together to take action to raise awareness and to help residents learn how to reduce wildfire risk. It is held annually in the United States and Canada. Therefore, Rotary Wildfire Ready has decided to cohost the Community Wildfire Preparedness Day event with Elk Creek Fire Department and Evergreen Fire/Rescue on May 1.

The Community Wildfire Preparedness Day event will begin at Elk Creek Fire Department from 8:30 – 11:30 am at 11993 Blackfoot Road in Conifer. It will continue at Evergreen Fire/Rescue from 1:30 – 4:30 pm at 1802 Bergen Parkway in Evergreen. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend. Fire Department Wildland Experts will be on hand to answer your questions and discuss wildfire readiness programs and resources available to residents such as Chipping Programs, Neighborhood Wildfire Protection Groups, Community Connect, Home Assessments, and more.

Cindy Latham, Chair of Rotary Wildfire Ready, reports that this daylong event will feature the maiden voyage of the Rotary Wildfire Ready fire truck, a rolling educational lab on wildfire readiness. This mobile unit is equipped with information and interactive exhibits including: Home Hardening, Defensible Space, What to Wear in a Wildfire, Evacuation, Emergency Go-Bag, Emergency Notifications, and other topics. Brochures on these topics will be available, and while supplies last, free Emergency Go-Bags, donated by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, will be distributed (limited to one per family).

More details of this event are available on the Facebook page: Rotarywildfireready and

on the Rotary Wildfire Ready website, The website offers valuable, additional information and tools on how to be wildfire ready.