Ask the Fire Chief

Do you want to know more about our Fire Chief?


Evan Rau grew up outside Chicago in Joliet, Illinois, riding bicycles and dreaming of living in the mountains of Colorado. After graduating from Southern Illinois University in 2003 with a degree in Journalism, he moved to Colorado Springs, only to reluctantly leave the state a few months later to work for a Department of Defense contractor refurbishing satellite communication antennas on the east coast. Seeking a more stable career in the state he loves, he returned to Colorado and enrolled at Colorado State University, earning his Colorado K-12 teaching license and a Masters degree in English. But fate did not place him in the high school classroom.


Two years after grad school, Evan and his wife, Susan, opened Cranknstein, a bicycle shop, tap house, and cafe they built in part of an old car dealership in north Old Town Fort Collins. After four rewarding but exhausting years, the business sadly closed in 2015, and Evan redirected his bicycle knowledge and passion to work for a company that provides websites and marketing services to over 1000 bicycle shops across the US and Canada. He continues to work for this company full-time from his Crystal Lakes home.


Evan and Susan moved to Crystal Lakes in November 2017, and Evan became a proud member of Crystal Lakes Volunteer Fire Department the next month. He trained as an Emergency Medical Responder the following September and completed EMT training in spring of 2019. Evan became CLVFD’s Training Officer in September of 2019, re-engaging his professional educator skills and drive to facilitate learning. As a Firefighter-EMT, he has fought structure fires in Red Feather Lakes; worked several prescribed burns and wildfires across north-central Colorado, including the Cameron Peak fire; and continually responds as an EMT to medical incidents in Crystal Lakes and Red Feather Lakes. Evan became Fire Chief of the Crystal Lakes Volunteer Fire Department in May of 2021.

Do you have a question you are burning to know the answer to? 

Simply ask the Fire Chief by filling out the form below.  All questions will be answered as quickly as possible, and the answers to any of general interest posted on this page.

Previously Asked Questions

What is the Crystal Lakes insurance rating?  The Crystal Lakes Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating is 9.

How do I know if there is a fire ban on?  Fire Ban notices will be posted in several places in Crystal Lakes via separate panels added to the top of the fire conditions signs. If there is a fire ban, information on the ban will also be posted on this website on the Fire Bans page. 

What kinds of fire bans are there?   

Crystal Lakes - The Crystal Lakes Fire Chief, acting under the authority of the Crystal Lakes Fire Protection Board, may establish a fire ban in the Crystal Lakes subdivision as a necessary precaution based on current conditions.  This decision takes into account the weather, drought conditions, and other fire-danger signs specific to the Crystal Lakes Area (much of this information is available from links on the Local Area Wildfires page). Crystal Lakes fire danger may not be the same as in the rest of the county, and may not match the fire danger in Glacier View or Roosevelt National Forest -- different conditions exist in each location. The ban instated by the District is on burning in Crystal Lakes only, and contravention of the ban may result in a visit from the fire dept (to extinguish the fire) and possible fines levied by the Crystal Lakes Road & Recreation Association. 


Larimer County - Larimer county has the authority to instate fire restrictions of various levels, from a complete ban, in which no fires of any sort are allowed, to bans of any open flame that cannot be switched off, and so forth. County-wide fire bans apply to all areas of the county, including Crystal Lakes. Contravention of a county-wide fire ban may result in the same consequences as a Crystal Lakes ban, plus additional fines and possibly legal action by the county.

How do I join the fire department?  Congratulations for thinking about volunteering! See our Volunteering page for information on volunteering to become a firefighter or member of the auxiliary.

How can I find out what fires are burning in the area?  The U.S. Forest Service and Larmier County have websites and information lines on fires in the area. See our page on Local Area Wildfirepage for how to access this information.

Where can I dispose of ashes from my fireplace?  There is no established location for the disposal of fireplace ashes.  The following website has excellent information/advice on safely disposing of your ash:  Please do not place ash near or on flammable materials unless you are absolutely certain it is cold.  Ash may retain heat for several days, with heavier concentrations remaining hotter longer.  Stir your ash and expose all parts of it to the air, testing for heat with the back of your hand, before judging it to be cold enough to safely dispose of.  Do not dispose of ash in the trash compactor.


How can I get rid of branches and other organic debris resulting from fire mitigation on my property?  There are several options for removing such debris, known as slash.  Many of the companies which provide fire mitigation services also provide for the removal or chipping of slash.  Chips may not be larger than 2 inches, and will decompose back into the soil most effectively if they're less than 1 inch.  Slash may also be removed to the Larimer County landfill or or taken to the Crystal Lakes Association slash disposal site on North County Road 73C.

Where do I find fire pit specifications?  The Crystal Lakes Road & Recreation Association (CLRRA) sets and supervises fire pit requirements for the Crystal Lakes area.  For specifications and inspections, contact the CLRRA through the Crystal Lakes website or by calling the office at (970) 881-2250.

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Warning Sirens

For the safety of the community, Crystal Lakes Associations has evacuations sirens posted throughout the Association. The evacuation siren in case of failure of the dam is located near the Wapiti Mailsheds to cover the floodplain area and sounds like this whoop sound:

MP3 audio file [163.5 KB]

Property owners in the floodplain should evacuate immediately if they hear this siren; all other property owners should remain on their lots, to keep the roads clear for those evacuating the floodplain.


Sirens in ALL parts of the association will sound the fire evacuation siren if a wildfire threatens the community -- it sounds like this alert sound:

MP3 audio file [168.6 KB]

ALL property owners should evacuate IMMEDIATELY if they hear this siren. Emergency personnel will be on hand to help direct evacuating property owners out of the area.

Where to Find Us:

Crystal Lakes Fire Protection District (CLFPD)

237 Blackfoot Road

Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545

970-881-3521 (Phone)

970-881-2085 (Fax)


Crystal Lakes Volunteer Fire Department (CLVPD)

237 Blackfoot Road

Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545

970-881-3521 (Phone)

970-881-2085 (Fax)


Click here for a map.

How to Contact Us

For more information, feel free to contact us by telephone, email, or by using our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!


CL FIRES is dedicated to education, planning, and support in the areas of fire prevention and safety, wildland fire mitigation, and personal safety in the greater Crystal Lakes Community of Larimer County, Colorado.


Click here to join.

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