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Taking precautions when camping

When camping during a hunt, it’s important to take the proper precautions for fire safety.

In 2005, high temperatures and low rain in the late summer dried out Northwest Colorado and heightened conditions for fires. Fire bans were starting to pop up throughout the region at the end of July.

Lynn Barclay, education and mitigation specialist for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit, cautions hunters that drought conditions during the past four or five years, in combination with significant rain in the spring, has made conditions right for fast-moving fires.

“This year, grass production is double the normal amount per acre, with taller grasses reaching into the lower tree branches,” she said in a press release. “What this means for public land users is a potential for quick moving, hot fires if ignition occurs. Grass fires can overtake people quickly if pushed by wind — lives have been lost in grass fires.”

As of Aug. 1, more than 38,000 fires had burned more than 4.5 million acres in 2005, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Wildfires are costly. Anyone found responsible for staring a wildfire may be liable for the suppression costs associated with that fire. The approximate cost of a two- day, 30-acre fire is $30,000. n