Colorado has suffered through months of debilitating wildfires. The flames spread throughout the state and fed off of dry grass, trees, and wooden homes. Local residents lost their land and homes as the fires spread uncontrollably, and local businesses had to shut down or move in order to survive. The state which relies heavily on tourism experienced a significant reduction in visitors and tourist dollars as businesses went on hiatus and fear of fire kept people away. Fortunately a recent string of rains have quelled the fires significantly. The Denver Huffington Post reports:
“After several days of rain drenched much of Colorado since the end of last week, Gov. John Hickenlooper lifted the statewide fire ban on Sunday that has been in place since June 14. Extreme fire conditions have abated in all 64 Colorado counties as a result of the current rain storms as well as cooler and wetter weather to come in the forecast. However, the governor warned that local authorities may still see the need to continue fire bans.”
An unusually mild winter with little snow fall factored into the initial spread of fires. Normal moisture in trees and grasses which would slow or stop the rampant spread of fire were replaced with crackling dryness. Record high heats throughout summer months also helped spark fires across the state. The initial fire containment efforts proved strained as more and more of the giant state became effected. Nevertheless, National Guard, Forest Rangers, Fire Fighters, and other first responders have worked diligently to quell and direct the flames.
“We commend the people of Colorado for complying with the fire ban and the efforts of fire fighters, local law enforcement, federal land managers, Colorado National Guard, United States military and all other first responders for their assistance and collaboration during this wildfire season, We will continue to monitor the fire danger across the state and re-enact the state-wide ban if necessary as conditions change.” – John Hickenlooper, Colorado Governor
With any luck rains will continue to fall and the fires will leave some of the tourist season available to local businesses.