Lightining-caused fires still being reported
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Spotty thunderstorms over parts of Colorado the past week didn’t dampen the overall fire danger, according to federal land managers, who decided this week to leave Stage II fire restrictions in place in the White River National Forest, the Colorado River Valley and Western Slope BLM lands.
Firefighters from local fire protection districts as well as the Upper Colorado River fire management area have responded to several lightening-caused fires across the area in the past week.
“We can expect a series of short duration rain events in the coming days,’ said Bill Hahnenberg, the Fire Management Officer for the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit. “In a normal summer, one or two of these events would significantly reduce the fire danger and might even take us out of the fire season. Given the severity of drought conditions going into this summer, we need several monsoon events to change current conditions.”
Stage II restrictions essentially ban all forms of outdoor fire. The decision to maintain the restrictions was made together with sheriffs in Mesa, Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle and Summit Counties and local fire protection districts. Local-level fire restrictions also remain in place in many jurisdictions.
Recent precipitation was very localized and of short duration. It did not produce enough rain to significantly change the current drought situation or reduce the risk of large fires.
Just as the decision to invoke Stage II restrictions was the result of a conscious thought process based on established guidelines, the decision to remain at Stage II is based on several factors. This includes looking at weather, fuel moisture data and fire severity indices as well as consultation with our partners and cooperators.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, forest fires, forests, wildfires Tagged: | Bureau of Land management, Colorado, Colorado fire restrictions, Colorado River, Colorado Western Slope, fire danger, White River National Forest, wlldfires