COLORADO SPRINGS — The spring green-up in Southern Colorado is off to a slow start. “Normally at this time [of year] we’ve seen a lot more green-up with our grasses and our oak brush. We really aren’t seeing that right now,” said Colorado Springs Fire Department, Wildfire Mitigation Administrator, Ashley Whitworth.
Whitworth tracks fire fuel moisture for the Colorado Springs Fire Department. The amount of water in vegetation can be deceiving. “Just because it’s green does not mean it has the moisture that it needs,” said Whitworth, “So, your green vegetation can burn just as hot and fast as the dead vegetation can.”
Longer warmer days trigger plants to come out of dormancy during spring months. During dry years like this one, the transition can make low ground moisture even lower. “So they will take everything that’s underground and that will help them green-up or sprout up.”
Without significant rain, fire danger returns quickly. Whitworth said, “A little bit of moisture does not mean we’re all good to go and we don’t need to worry about fire.” There is only little rain in the extended forecast for Southern Colorado.
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