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U.S. Forest Service says fire activity in March isn't sign of bad season to come

U.S. Forest Service says fire activity in March isn't sign o

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - A spokesperson with the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday's wildfire is not an indication of a bad fire season this summer.

Investigators said a small brush fire that sparked just west of Monument on Wednesday was human-caused. It's unknown whether the fire was set on purpose or started accidentally.

The Raspberry Mountain Fire burned less than half an acre along Red Rocks Drive near the intersection of Mt. Herman Road. No structures were damaged and there was no need to evacuate nearby homes.

Hikers were surprised to see smoke and firefighters.

"It does seem a little early however we have had fires in the past in March. Typically this time of year we do have fires but they are very short lived," said Dawn Sanchez with the U.S. Forest Service.

There have been seven red flag days so far this year. There were 46 red flag days in 2012 and 39 in 2013. For the past three years, red flag days have started mid-February.

Sanchez said Wednesday's fire activity isn't a sign of a bad fire season to come.

"It's hard to predict something like that. As of right now we are a little behind on the moisture. It's a little dry," said Sanchez.

The U.S. Forest Service said it hasn't pinpointed certain areas along the front range that are at greater risk this fire season.

"On the front range itself we are fairly dry and we treat every area as equal," said Sanchez.

The fire was located on U.S. Forest Service land.

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