Officials: Wildfire a hazard even with high water
Despite bulging streams and green grass, there is still potential for wildfires, Moffat County fire officials say.
Lynn Barclay, fire mitigation and education specialist for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit, said those who plan to camp during Memorial Day weekend need to be cautious with their campfires.
“Use the same precautions as you always do,” Barclay said.
That means having a shovel and water nearby, clearing the brush to bare soil before starting a fire, and not leaving campfires unattended.
Barclay encourages campers to be aware of the fire conditions in their individual campsite.
“You have to look at the area where you’re camping,” she said.
The Bureau of Land Manage–ment lists the fire danger for Craig and the surrounding area as low. Dinosaur National Monument lists their fire danger as low to moderate.
Wildfire potential is not as high this year as it was during Memorial Day last year when early season fires already had burned near Fort Collins.
But, Barclay said, the potential for fire is always there.
“We’re still going to get some fires (this year),” she said. “It doesn’t take a large fire to cause injury or damage.”
Barclay doesn’t forecast a catastrophic wildfire season like 2002, when the Hayman near Lake George caused $40 million in damage, but large fires are still a possibility.
Colorado’s Wildfire season usually peaks in July and August.
“We’re always preparing like it’s going to be an active fire season,” Barclay said.
This is a good time for homeowners to prepare their properties for wildfire season by clearing any dead plants and other debris from around homes and stacking firewood and woodpiles at least 30 feet away from homes, Barclay said.
If debris isn’t cleared, fire can reach homes quickly.
Other parts of the West, such as Northern Wyoming and the Black Hills of South Dakota, haven’t had as much spring moisture as Northwest Colorado. The fire danger in those areas is currently high.
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