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Environment

Below Average Wildfire Season Forecasted For Colorado

Fire officials say Colorado should see a less active wildfire season this year.

 

Caley Fisher with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control says a drier-than-normal winter led to some early blazes, but the rest of the season is expected to be below average.

 

“Based on what our meteorologists are telling us,” Fisher says, “and what our subject matter experts in wildfires are telling us, it’s looking like below normal in the fire outlook as far as the Western Slope and higher elevations are concerned, and in the Eastern Plains it’s going to be an average fire potential.”

 

But Fisher says the outlook isn’t foolproof.

 

“So we can say this, and then there’s a huge fire that happens that was human caused that meteorologists weren’t able to catch,” she says.

 

Humans are the number one source for out-of-control blazes. Last July an unattended campfire near Nederland destroyed eight homes and burned about 500 acres.

 

In a typical Colorado season more than 4,000 fires burn up to 100,000 acres. Last year officials reported 4,783 wildland fires in the state. They spent nearly $9 million last year, and have budgeted more than $10 million this year to assist local and federal officials with fire suppression.

 

Most western states have a similar outlook to Colorado, except for parts of Nevada and California at above normal fire potential.

 

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