It's a vicious cycle.
Colorado's drought causes dry fuels, which burn easily and create huge wildfires like the Pine Ridge Fire.
Crews then have to use thousands of gallons of water to put it out, which does nothing to help the drought.
So where are they getting one of our state’s most precious resources to fight these flames? Whatever source is closest. But there are many factors to consider-- like environmental and supply impacts -- before firefighters can pull water out of a river or reservoir.
"In a year like this, [water] can be somewhat limited, but actually before fire season even begins, we're identifying those potential water sources both on public land and private land," said Sparky Taber, a natural resource specialist for the BLM.
However, you can never predict where a fire will take off.
In wetter years, firefighters usually draw water partially from stock or grazing ponds on public lands, but this year, those stock ponds are either dry or very low, according to Kimberly Miller, the information officer on the Third Water Springs Fire.
For that fire burning near De Beque, "the private landowner was gracious enough to give us permission to be able to draw from his water source," said Miller.
Finding water was also an issue on the Pine Ridge Fire.
"It was hundreds of thousands of gallons, and the water for the Pine Ridge was coming out of the Colorado River," said Taber.
Initially, the team was also in talks with water districts like Ute Water Conservancy District to possibly pull from its reservoirs.
Joseph Burtard, the public relations manager for Ute Water, explains what goes into their decision to give up their resources.
"One is we have to have those reserves, that storage, for our consumers," said Burtard.
He said Ute Water would have had enough to help the Pine Ridge Fire, though ultimately it was not needed.
"That’s a huge benefit to fighting fires in the Grand Mesa area; there are multiple reservoirs up there that they can use to pull water from," said Burtard.
But before they can, resource advisors have to assess environmental risks of taking away water.
“So for instance, a hydrologist might want to look at the water sources. The fish biologist might want to look at the fisheries that the water source is being drawn on," said Miller.
For the Pine Ridge Fire, the affects on resources were minimal, according to Taber.
"Even with the low flows of the Colorado, there's a lot of water coming down there, and on the big scale, taking out water for fires is a pretty small impact," Taber said.
Water utilities like Clifton Water District and Grand Valley Water Users Association say they didn't see a difference in river levels as a result of the Pine Ridge Fire.
Firefighters always track how much water they take out of a source, and if it's from an irrigation pond or essential supply, they will put water back in after the fire is extinguished.