Wildland areas in Pueblo pose fire threats

Wild land areas in Pueblo pose fire threats

PUEBLO, Colo. - After a three-acre fire burned a hard-to-reach area near the Arkansas River in Pueblo on Wednesday night, crews were back making sure there were no hot spots.

They're also doing mitigation work to clear out excess brush.

"A lot of grassy area, a lot of heavy growth, trees and some, you know 60-to-70-foot trees as well," said Capt. Woody Percival from the Pueblo Fire Department.

Percival said the firefighters do their best to maintain heavily wooded areas in the city but there's so many of them that it would cost too much money.

"It would be a monumental task to actually go into those areas for the fire risk because they are heavy growth, old growth, dense growth areas," Percival said.

But Parks and Recreation Director Steven Meier said even if they did have unlimited resources, they wouldn't be able to just go through, clearing everything in sight.

"We don't go in there and worry about dead wood or those kind of items, because again, it's wildlife habitat," Meier said.

City crews work with the Fire Department to help prioritize and clean up trouble spots, concentrating on populated areas.

"We try to remove as much of the understory we can. People feel a lot safer if that understory is removed," Meier said.

But even in areas they maintain, the dry weather has kept fire danger on the front of everyone's mind.

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