May 9, 2011 11:18 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Windy and dry conditions a big concern for firefighters

Colorado Springs firefighters say the dry, windy conditions we've been experiencing remind them of 2002. That's when the Hayman fire happened. The Hayman fire is the largest recorded wildland fire in Colorado history, burning 135,000 acres.

Fire crews say they train and make sure they and their equipment are ready. They'll even increase staff on days when the conditions look right for fires to erupt. They also want people to be ready.

"Don't throw cigarette butts out windows, be careful with their barbecues and make smart choices," warns Lt. J.J. Halsey with the Colorado Springs Fire Department. "Very low humidities, high winds, higher temperatures, and those are all just combining to dry out our fuels and we're literally a tinderbox at this point."

Wind has been a big concern with several fires across the state.

The wind quickly spread flames and thick smoke from a vacant farm property in Brighton, shutting down major highways for hours.

Crews were attacking a fire in Park County near Kenosha Pass with water drops from helicopters, but had to ground the choppers Monday because of 40 mile per hour gusts.



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