CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Lower North Fork Fire and the recent dry conditions prompted many Front Range cities and counties to put fire bans in place. But despite the recent moisture, areas such as Clear Creek County have kept the fire ban in place.
Some parts of Clear Creek County got about half a foot of snow. But another part of the county shares the Evergreen Fire District. So when Jefferson County enacted their ban, Clear Creek wasn’t far behind.
Even a break from the dry spell with several inches of wet snow in the trees and on the ground won’t be enough in Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger’s mind to repeal a temporary fire ban.
“It’s been dry and it’s going to take a while to get enough moisture into the fuels where it’s not going to be a problem,” Krueger said. “At least not for the foreseeable future. In a few days the snow will be gone and it will take a week or so. It will take a couple of warm days and some wind and it’ll dry the fuel back out again.”
The sheriff says he’s got a long-term outlook for the safety of the county.
“You look at the 30- to 90-day forecast and they’re expecting above normal temps and below normal precipitation. So it’s going to be a hot dry summer,” Krueger said.
After significant dry spells this winter in December, January and March, and an eye-opening deadly fire just last week, a significant change in the weather needs to take place for many counties in the high country to allow fires any time soon.
“We have no real fire season anymore,” Krueger said. “Wildland fire season starts around the first part of January and ends the last part of December.”
Along the Interstate 70 corridor, Eagle County also has a burn ban, and out west there really wasn’t much moisture to speak of. Tuesday a Summit County official said a fire ban was discussed, but there’s enough snow still on the ground there that a ban isn’t necessary just yet.