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Udall Has Warning About Fire Danger This Summer

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The fire danger remains high to very high across much of the state. Because of the danger more areas are imposing fire bans.

No open fires and no fireworks are allowed in the entire city of Lakewood. With a handful of large wildfires still burning across the state and the Fourth of July right around the corner, Sen. Mark Udall has optimism and a warning as it gets deeper into the summer months.

“Let’s not have open fires, let’s not throw cigarettes out of our car windows, let’s just really remember that we are still a tinder box,” Udall said.

With the threat of fire still looming large over the Rockies, Udall had a chance to see what firefighters will be facing in the weeks ahead.

“We still as Coloradans have to be responsible, particularly when we recreate,” he said.

In addition to being careful with fire, Udall says one of the biggest things people can do is mitigate fuels.

“You ought to use your rake and your weed whacker to knock down materials around your home. Move those wood piles, be prepared,” Udall said.

So far this summer the trees and the grasses in the foothills of the mountains have had a tough time getting any water at all, but firefighters are optimistic as it gets closer July about one weather phenomenon that comes back every year — the summer monsoon.

“When you really look historically, we tended to have our big fires in June because the monsoon systems don’t set up until later in July and August,” Udall said. “The good news was – keep our fingers crossed – it looks like we’re going to have more moisture flow out of the Gulf of Mexico.”

While everyone waits for monsoon thunderstorms to show, Udall says whether it rains or not, Colorado is ready.

“Fires, when you fight them, are really expensive. It’s literally like going to war,” Udall said. “You bring in your aircraft, you bring in your air support. Then you have to put your infantry on the ground –those are your firefighters … right now we have the people and we have the aircraft, we have the tankers and we have the attention of the nation on Colorado. So I’m confident we’ve got what we need.”

The hope is that the monsoon arrives earlier than the typical mid-July time frame.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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