Expert: Humidity dampening chances for 'mega-fires'

DENVER –After two years of violent fire seasons, Colorado's landscape is finally calming.

"In fact, this year in Colorado, we've had a below normal fire season, knock on wood," says Einar Jensen, a fire expert with South Metro Fire Rescue Authority.

In 2012 and 2013, more than 2,600 fires burned throughout the state, reducing roughly 442,000 acres to ash and killing eight people. So far in 2014, Colorado has not seen the same epic destruction. Jensen says 2014 has brought higher levels of relative humidity, dampening our chances for the mega-fires of seasons past.

"The predictive services that we use in the wildland fire world show a return to normal for most of Colorado," he said.

As of Sunday, two significant fires in Garfield County and Moffat County have burned more than 20,000 acres. Jensen says the size is significant, but the risk is considerably lower.

"A 20,000 acre fire can burn around Craig and really have no impact aside from the livestock deaths that we've seen," he said. "A 20,000 acre fire on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, and we're talking about a mega-fire."

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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