Potential for fire high this holiday season

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Temperatures are climbing and so are fire indicators in northwest Colorado. Fire danger is very high in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties and moderate to high in Routt, Jackson and Grand Counties.
“Spring rains have produced an abundance of grasses, which are now drying and becoming a fire carrier,” said Mark Rogers, Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit Fire Management officer. “The potential for fires to grow in size is increasing as heat and winds continue to pull moisture out of vegetation and soil.”
As people prepare for July 4th celebrations, local, state, and federal fire officials encourage the public to enjoy recreating outdoors while reminding them to be careful with fire and other ignition sources. Fireworks are prohibited in many areas and can cause serious injuries as well as start fires.
Fire officials are urging public land users to be very cautious with campfires, debris burning, equipment use, and controlled burning.
“If you plan to have a campfire, never leave it unattended,” said Rogers. “Make sure that campfire is dead out before leaving it. Choose parking areas that are clear of fuels and beware of dry grasses collecting near exhaust systems of your vehicle. Always have water and a shovel on hand, and clear areas of debris and vegetation down to bare soil before building a campfire.”
If traveling this holiday weekend, check with local fire officials for fire restriction or go to www.cofireban.info.
— Barclay is fire mitigation/education specialistfor the BLM in Craig