Colorado Springs

What is in store for fire season in southern Colorado?

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Dry and windy conditions around the state and southern Colorado proved the damage it could cause with the fire that burned on Fort Carson Sunday. 

People in Colorado Springs are taking notice of the weather that seems out of the ordinary. 

"Hopefully we won't have any major event, but I think it might be a difficult summer," Bob Tiggemann said. 

"I work in the carpentry business so my fire pit is going on all the time, but I haven't used it in weeks because of all these red flag warnings," Eric Flores said. 

While conditions may seem worse than normal for a fire the Colorado Springs Fire Department said it's fairly "normal" right now. 

"That may change in the future as we get moisture or don't receive moisture, but we're still in that normal kind of pattern," said CSFD Program Coordinator Jeremy Taylor. 

CSFD collects vegetation to test for moisture to combine with national and local data to help make predictions as far as how likely a fire will start and how it will behave when it does. 

"We kind of have the heightened awareness, and we're making sure that we're keeping a close eye on it," Taylor said. 

The National Weather Service in Pueblo is keeping tabs on it too. Makoto Moore said snowpack is low across the state, leaving conditions dry. 

"We're roughly about 50 to 60 percent of where we should be this time of year," Moore said. 

Moore also said the damage and smoke from fires like the Waldo Canyon Fire and the Black Forest Fire could come back.

"There's the potential for that," Moore said. "There is the chance for another large fire that could affect the wildland-urban Interface."

The National Weather Service and CSFD both said it's a good reminder to take proper fire mitigation efforts with homes. 

CSFD Education and Outreach Program Coordinator, Ashley Whitworth said the department offers free on-site consultations for fire mitigation. 

They look for what houses and roofs are made out of and if there is any debris in gutters or on roofs. 

"If you have any accumulation or needles or leaves and that gets on your roof and you have an ember that lands there, then that can ignite and start your house," Whitworth said. 

CSFD also checks for mulch and vegetation near the house, recommending any grasses around the house be kept less than 4 inches deep. 

For more information on fire mitigation, visit CSFD's website. The site also has a Wildfire Mitigation Map showing what the Wildfire Mitigation hazard rating is for homes in the Wildland-Urban Interface. 

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