NewsCovering Colorado


Transition to autumn can increase some wildfire risks

Posted at 7:12 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 07:44:13-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Work to cut off the Wild Horse Fire on the Highway 115 corridor by Fort Carson is progressing. Containment is now at 40%.

There is still smoke coming up showing hot spots, so ground crews will continue working to prevent flare-ups. Air support and crews from outside support agencies have been released.

The Wild Horse Fire, as well as the Incline Fire a week earlier, is evidence of the year-round wildfire danger in southeast Colorado. This year the danger is magnified by extra dry weather.

The factors contributing to fire danger will change with the seasons. The current transition to autumn is adding to fire fuel on the ground.

“We get those little cold snaps. All the vegetation around us is starting to go dormant and so, what that means is those grasses and fine fuels are starting to cure. They're getting brown and dry,” said Colorado Springs Fire Department Lieutenant Trevor Leland. Trees are also dropping leaver creating another fuel bed for wildfire.

Fire prevention pros point to on-going fires, saying more fires could easily start with weather patterns in the forecast.

"We're approaching red flag conditions and that's just ripe for having a significant fire," said Leland. It is why most southern Colorado counties remain under burn restrictions.