COLORADO SPRINGS – It’s not even Easter yet and we’re already seeing large wind-driven grassfires in and around Southern Colorado. So, what gives? The reality is that there is no single fire season here.
“In Colorado Springs, we’ve had fires year round,” explained Jeremy Taylor, program administrator for the Colorado Springs Fire Department’s Wildfire Mitigation Section. “There’s not more of that fire season, it’s literally is 365 days a year.”
Fires are dynamic and difficult to predict. However, Taylor said his team works to study conditions to make better preparations.
“We go around the city and we collect vegetation, we cook it in an oven, and we have a very scientific method to understand how much moisture is really in the material that we are concerned about,” he explained.
Grasses dry out first. Trees and shrubs can hold their moisture longer. When those heavy fuels start to get dry, local leaders may implement temporary fire restrictions.
Taylor said the snowy winter we’ve just come through can lull people into thinking the danger has dropped. All it takes to elevate the fire danger is a few consecutive warm, dry days.
“The problem that these kind of sporadic weather patterns create for us is that, as we have wet springs, we typically have warmer and drier summer months,” Taylor said.
The Fire Department and other local agencies are encouraging homeowners to begin working on fire mitigation now. Several agencies will take part in a free Community Wildfire Preparedness Expo this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the NE Teller Fire Station 1 in Woodland Park.
Taylor said homeowners can also call to arrange a personal on-site consultation with the Wildfire Mitigation Section. The number to call is 719-385-7342