Thanks to a ton of snowfall throughout winter and early spring, Colorado snowpack is looking great. One side effect of big snowpack numbers is that fire risk will likely be much lower this summer compared to the dry summer of 2018. The outlook is so great, that it’s even being called a “complete 180” compared to the conditions just one year ago.

However, big snowpack doesn’t come without problems related to fire safety.

As this water trickles down from the mountains, grasses that have gone dormant during a period of low water will again grow tall on grasslands around the state. Come fall, these grasses will likely go dormant again as moisture wanes. Once this happens, the dry grass, now taller and more ample, will turn into the perfect fuel for spreading fall wildfires.

This means that fire safety will still be extremely important during upcoming months, especially as things start turning brown near the end of summer.

A few quick tips include:

  1. Be aware of wind while burning – Strong winds can cause wildfires to spread quickly, pushing them along through dry fuel. Winds also make it possible for sparks to travel great distances. If it’s a windy day and conditions are dry, it’s probably best you don’t burn.
  2. Only burn what’s meant to be burnt – Burning odd materials can result in unpredictable ash and sparks that can help spread fire uncontrollably.
  3. Don’t flick those butts – If you’re going to smoke, dispose of your cigarette butt properly. Tossing it on the ground is littering, but it also means there’s a risk of sparking up dry fuel.
  4. Always make sure a fire is out before leaving it behind – Don’t leave your campfire when it’s still dwindling. Make sure it’s out completely prior to leaving the campsite.

Find out more about fire prevention here.

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