Discarded cigarettes likely caused March 5 fires
Please, take the few extra moments to properly dispose of cigarettes and cigars. Not doing so -- especially in the windy and dry conditions we're currently experiencing in Northern Colorado -- leads to fires.
Poudre Fire Authority firefighters on March 5, 2018, put out several fires that were likely due to improperly discarded smoking materials.
In one case, firefighters on Engine 1 responded just after 5 a.m. to the area of East Mountain Avenue and Walnut Street, where they found an approximately 5-by-5-foot area of mulch smoldering on the side of the road, between the street and sidewalk. They extinguished the fire, using a fire hose, and then used a shovel to turn the mulch to ensure the hot spots were suffocated. The fire was most likely caused by an improperly discarded cigarette.
Just before 9 a.m., multiple PFA units were dispatched to 2201 S. College Ave., behind Wilbur's Total Beverage, where they extinguished a fire that started under some wooden pallets and grew quickly because of the wind. The cause was accidental, possibly due to a smoldering cigarette.
That same day, about 2 p.m., firefighters from Engine 6 were shopping at the King Sooper's on South Timberline Road (Fun fact: They use their own money, not taxpayer dollars, to buy their meals.) when they were paged to the front of the store and directed outside to put out a fire burning in a shrub near a picnic table by the pharmacy drive-through. An off-duty captain happened to be in the area and knocked down the flames; Engine 6's crew helped to extinguish the fire in the shrub, around which there were discarded cigarettes. The firefighters advised managers to inform their employees about proper cigarette disposal.
- Smokers should fully extinguish their cigarettes in a
non-combustible container or ashtray.
- Do not throw lit cigarettes out of moving vehicles or
directly on the ground. Not only does this action
increase the potential for a fire, but it is littering.
- Use a sturdy ashtray with a wide, stable base or a
can filled with sand to collect ashes.
- Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before
throwing them away.
For more safety information, visit the U.S. Fire Administration's site: www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/smoking.html
It is truly our honor to provide this community with prompt, skillful and caring service 24/7/365. If ever you have questions, about fire- and life-safety education, our firefighters, or anything else, don't hesitate to reach out.
Public Affairs and Communication Manager
Poudre Fire Authority