Fire danger in the Roaring Fork Valley

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenSeptember 29, 2010
With an Indian summer upon us, the valley's fire chiefs sent out the following smoke signal:

“Firefighters, sheriffs and fire chiefs in the Roaring Fork Valley are requesting your vigilance in preventing wildfires.

“With the unusually high temperatures combined with the lack of precipitation the danger of a devastating fire is very likely unless extreme caution is used by everyone. The entire valley has seen very low humidity levels recently. That fact in combination with the amount of cured grasses and dried dead leaves creates an extreme fire potential in most valley areas. Many trees in the valley have suffered due to a lack of rain and are now extremely flammable as well.

This home surrounded by defensible space was saved from the Missionary Ridge fire in 2002.
Barry Gutierrez/Rocky Mountain News

“We urge you not to burn campfires, ditches, and slash piles at this time, it is simply not worth the risk. When cooking outdoors use propane as it is much safer than charcoal. Smoke in safe areas and extinguish cigarettes properly. ATVs, motorcycles and chainsaws must have working spark arresters, and never park over tall grass and brush as your vehicle will start a fire.

“Due to these tenuous conditions, no open burn permits are being issued by most area fire departments. Please check with your local department when the weather conditions may permit open burning again.”

The weather has been especially balmy in the valley this week and it was just a couple short weeks ago that wildfires had homeowners running scared near Boulder and Loveland. More recently, farmlands on the outskirts of Greeley have suspiciously and repeatedly ignited leaving many residents there on edge.

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