Recent moisture could be ‘double-edged sword’ for Colorado fire departments

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. –If you were thinking the bomb cyclone washed away any chance of fire danger this summer, think again.

Local fire departments say while the recent moisture is great news in the short term, it could spell trouble later this summer and fall.

“Moisture is kind of a double-edged sword in that way,” says Eric Hurst with South Metro Fire Rescue. “It does us good in the short term, and then we always have the risk in the long term that with a good moist spring and a spring green up, we can actually have a lot heavier fuel.”

Hurst says fuels like grass and brush tend to become problems later in the summer.

“Fall is usually when we see our bigger fires here in South Metro,” he says. “It’s always in our minds and we’re always training for it.”

Just up the road in Lakewood, crews with West Metro Fire Rescue spent Tuesday training on wildland fires.

“This moisture has definitely helped, and if anything, it’s going to delay any fires off the bat,” says Lt. Tyler Sugaski. “If you think of the last few years, we’ve been operating above normal in extreme conditions. Now, we’re kind of back to normal.”

Sugaski says they are also predicting some issues this fall due to a bountiful spring bloom.

“It could add more fuels to our landscape which would be available to burn. So, that’s why we have to look at long-term forecast trends, not just a couple of weeks out,” Sugaski said.

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