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Fire Crews Preparing For Wildfire Season

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AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Fire crews are on high alert this weekend after a brush fire in Aurora on Friday.

Investigators say the fire may have been arson but crews were able to get a quick handle on it.

With temperatures expected to climb to near record levels this weekend the threat of more fires is worrisome.

It was only an acre, but the brush fire in Aurora proved that you don’t have to live in the wilderness to be a victim of a wildfire.

“We have a lot more human interaction in these areas. Human interaction can be a big piece in this wildfire season,” said Aurora Fire Department Cpt. Wendy Lippman.

Firefighters say urban, park and marsh lands could be unexpected start points for fires early this season.

They’re some of the first areas to show the signs of fire danger.

“We’ve had a lot of rain and snow over the last months however the wind quickly dries all that nice green foliage out” said Lippman.

The warning comes as aerial crews brace for a destructive summer.

In Wyoming, heavy aircraft are practicing for missions into the wildfire zones.

“We’re seeing the dynamic effects of the fire so we can better change our tactics” said a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

It’s part firefighting and part daredevil as pilots are training with planes so heavy they struggle to take off.

Tough conditions meant to mimic the harsh reality of a fire fight.

“It’s especially challenging. We’re operating close to its envelope. We’re 200 feet off the ground. We usually don’t fly that low,” said a pilot.

With fire season so close, crews across the region are training on borrowed time.

Many are sacrificing time off to be ready for the real fires.

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