DENVER (KDVR) — In 2020, two of the largest wildfires in state history burned hundreds of thousands of acres in portions of Colorado.
On Thursday, Governor Jared Polis and State and Federal Wildland Fire Agencies provided an overview of the 2021 wildfire outlook and preparedness plan for the State of Colorado.
“Fire is a part of Colorado and the western United States,” said Chief Vaughn Jones with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. “It’s not a matter of if, but when.”
For the 2021 season, additional resources will play a role. A type-one helicopter, a large air tanker and an increase in dedicated funding to provide those resources.
Jones says prevention plays a crucial role, as mitigation techniques like defensible space will be emphasized earlier in the year as the season grows.
The Cameron Peak Fire burned 208,913 acres, starting Aug. 13 in the wilderness west of Fort Collins. It burned for 112 days.
Despite Colorado seeing a normal snowpack of 94%, many streams, rivers and lakes across the state will see significantly less runoff water this spring due to last fall’s drought conditions.