Family Upset They Didn't Get Emergency Alert Call For Wildfire

Linda Mrak says her family should have been included in an emergency notification Wednesday night when a fire broke out just across the highway from her home.
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A local family is upset that they didn't get an emergency alert call to warn them about a wildfire.

The fire broke out in eastern El Paso County Wednesday night and grew to more than 38 acres.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office sent out the emergency alert to the homes in the immediate area, but it turns out the family we talked with lives just a half-mile outside the call area. The family says they should have been included.

From her front yard, Linda Mrak shows us just how close the fire came to her house.

“Kinda gets you a bit anxious,” Mrak said.

Mrak was sleeping when the fire broke out. She had no idea what was burning just across the highway from her home. She is registered to receive a reverse notification call, but according to the sheriff's office her home was a half-mile outside the call area.

“In 60 mile an hour winds, a mile or two is absolutely nothing. It only takes less than five minutes and you can be in a real bad situation,” Mrak said.

Mrak and her husband own three horses. With the strong winds last night and no warning phone call, the Mraks say if the fire spread quickly they may not have had time to save their horses.

“It takes awhile to rodeo three horses into a trailer in the middle of the night to get them out. So every minute counts,” Bob Mrak said.

11 News called the Ellicott fire chief to ask her about how the department came up with those boundary lines on who gets called and who doesn't. We’ll let you know when we hear back from her.

This is a good reminder for all of us to sign up to receive emergency notification. We've posted a link on Find It. You can also get breaking text alerts from 11 News; just text the word “ALERTS” to 89031.

*Editor's Note: Authorities originally said the fire was around 100 acres, but after time of publication downgraded it to 38 acres. We have changed the size in this story to reflect the update.