BLM firefighters on high alert in Northwest Colorado

Approval of water, sewer ordinance changes means more costs to residents

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The Bureau of Land Management is on high alert and ready to go with extra staff in case of any wildfires break out in Moffat County.

With crews stationed in Maybell and Craig, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is hoping to react with a quick strike if any fires are reported.

A crew has been stationed at the Travel Lodge hotel in Craig for the past week. Their helicopter, which can be seen parked on the lawn of the hotel, belongs to the BLM and is on standby in case of a fire incident.

The craft is used to do bucket work, dumping water on to fires, if something happens to flair up, said Lynn Barclay, BLM public relations specialist.

Along with the helicopter, two extra crews have been brought into the area because of the high fire danger. They have reported that everything has remained quiet so far, except for a few lightning strikes that were extinguished.

One crew was released on Monday and the other crew remained on standby in anticipation of the dry thunderstorm that passed through Northwest Colorado Monday night.

The second crew will stay on alert for a couple more days to make sure that no lighting strikes from the storm flare up, said Barclay.

Barclay said the storm last night hasn't decreased the fire danger significantly.

"We still have high or extreme fire danger readings across Moffat County, except for the higher elevations," said Barclay.

The high fire risk should encourage people to be extra cautious when dealing with fire.

Barclay encourages those camping or recreating in the outdoors to check with the proper agency for fire danger levels and restrictions in the area they plan on traveling to.

"People just need to be aware when they're outdoors and dealing with fire," said Barclay. "It could be a long summer."

To check fire conditions around the state, log onto the Internet at:

http:\\www.fs.fed.us\land\wfas\fdr_obs.dat

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