Federal officials: Firefighters prepared for wildfire season despite government shutdown

The Spring Fire burns in southern Colorado in June 2018. (Photo: Colorado State Patrol Alamosa)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Federal officials say they found ways to work through last winter’s government shutdown to get prepared for wildfires in the central Rocky Mountain region and Black Hills.

Representatives of the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management talked with Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Wednesday about coordinating firefighting efforts.

The shutdown amid a dispute between President Donald Trump and Congress over border security lasted from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25. Regional Forester Brian Ferebee says his office prioritized work during the shutdown and brought back firefighters for previously scheduled training.

Ferebee’s region covers Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and most of South Dakota and Wyoming.

Firefighters are getting help from the weather. Abundant snow and rain and cool temperatures are keeping the region’s wildfire danger fairly low.

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