USA — Gov. John Hickenlooper urged Coloradans on Thursday to remain cautious and prevent wildfires despite recent snow and rain, warning that Colorado is still preparing for another “challenging” wildfire season.
Hickenlooper said the danger of wildfires starting and spreading isn’t as bad as last year, but it is still higher than normal, and he doesn’t want people to let their guard down.
“I don’t think we’re going to see what we saw in 2012 or 2002, thank God,” Hickenlooper said at his annual wildfire briefing with state and federal officials at Centennial Airport. He was joined by representatives of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
Last year by this time, one major wildfire had already claimed three lives after a state prescribed burn sparked a wildfire in the Jefferson County foothills following the driest March on record in the Denver area. Three other people were also killed and around 650 houses destroyed during the lingering fire season. A wildfire burned through the winter in Rocky Mountain National Park. The state also experienced a bad fire season in 2002.