Drying grasses and shrubs up fire danger in parts of Colorado
FRISCO — Summer may be winding down, but the wildfire season is not over yet. In the past ten days, fire managers and park rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park have responded to four illegal, escaped campfires.
Record high temps, SW winds combine for fire weather
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A wet spring has delayed the onset of critical wildfire conditions in parts of Colorado, but not everywhere. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for big parts of Colorado, including the entire southern half of the state, parts of the Western Slope and a strip along the Front Range from Colorado Springs through Fort Collins to the Wyoming border.
FRISCO — While a cool and wet spring prevailed in the north-central mountains, it’s a different story in the southwestern part of the state, where a prolonged period of above normal temperatures and minimal precipitation have left fuels ready to burn at lower elevations.
Parts of the Four Corners area will be facing significant fire danger this weekend and early next week as temperatures rise to record or near-record highs. A Red Flag warning is in effect from 1 p.m. through 8 p.m. for the San Juan mountains below 9,000 feet and extending into the Jemez Mountains and the upper Rio Grande Valley of northern New Mexico.
Winds will gust up to 30 mph with relative humidity values in the lower teens combining to create critical fire conditions. Any fires that start are likely to spread rapidly, according to the National Weather Service.
Strong high pressure over the desert Southwest has already led to record highs in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and the heat wave is expected to intensify. For western Colorado, temps are expected to run about 10 degrees above average Sunday and nudge up to near record levels Monday.
Varying restrictions remain in effect on the Western Slope, so know before you go
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Abundant rains across parts of the Colorado high country have prompted some jurisdictions to ease fire restrictions, enabling visitors to enjoy controlled campfires in developed recreation sites and other safe settings.
Officials said the fire danger hasn’t completely disappeared and are still urging caution. For now the fire danger is rated as moderate across the White River National Forest, which means fires can still spread from an ignition source like a campfire, but is likely to spread slowly. As a result, the forest is lifting the fire ban effective July 20.
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.
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Town of Breckenridge this week adopted Stage 2 fire restrictions in coordination with Stage 2 Fire Restrictions instituted by Summit County and the U.S. Forest Service.
The current fire danger in the area has been ranging between very high and extreme and the weather forecast predicts continued dryness with the potential for high winds.
“In this time of extreme fire danger it is incumbent on all of us to be diligent in our use of fire-producing products.” said Police Chief Shannon Haynes.“The department will take a zero tolerance approach to violations of the Mayor’s declaration and the Town of Breckenridge Municipal Court will assess fines up to $999 with possible jail time of 364 days for convicted offenders.” Continue reading “Breckenridge enacts Stage 2 fire ban”→
Safety and wildfire concerns drive difficult decision
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — After serious discussion and soul-searching — not to mention some sobering input from Sheriff John Minor and local fire officials — the Frisco Town Council voted Tuesday night to cancel the traditional July 4th fireworks due to wildfire and public safety concerns.
The town may reschedule a fireworks display or create a new event sometime later in the summer, according to a press release from the town.
In a year when fuel moisture is at record low levels, it would only take one stray ember or spark to start a fire in forests or grasslands around the Reservoir.