Residents of the Forest Lakes Subdivision in Bayfield underwent an unannounced fire evacuation early Saturday morning.
The Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, in conjunction with Forest Lakes Metro District, the Durango Communication Center, FireWise of Southwest Colorado and La Plata County Emergency Management put on the fire drill.
“We are putting a little stress on the system to see if we can get to the people in the event of a real emergency”, said Upper Pine Fire District Chief Bruce Evans in a news release.
Residents of the western half of the subdivision received notifications at 10 a.m. asking them to evacuate to Upper Pine Fire Station 5. The eastern half of the subdivision received notifications at 10:30 a.m.
113 residents evacuated to Upper Pine Fire Station 5 as part of the drill. Of the 113, 82 were registered with the county’s notification system, Code Red. 61 people received the message by landline, 60 by cell phone, 40 by text message, nine on Facebook, and two were told by neighbors. Many residents received multiple notifications.
Evans was one of five people who had been planning this event for two months. Paul Valdez, the fire district’s wildland coordinator; Phil Campbell, the Durango Communications Director; and Ann Schrier and Dawn Engler of FireWise helped coordinate the event, according to the release.