New snowpack levels effect Wildfire Season

By: Stacia Strong Email
By: Stacia Strong Email

Year after year Colorado has dealt with devastating wildfires, and while the threat still remains this season, the state may see a little relief, by snowpack.
New levels released by the National Weather Service show an above average rate compared to previous years.
Most of the state is above 100% meaning there is more snowfall then last year at this time. Northwestern Colorado’s snow pack levels are at 127% of normal and statewide levels are at 113%.

According to Aldis Strautins of the National Weather Service, snow pack is so important to Western Colorado because it’s used for many things, including drinking water, “We've had some good snowpack in northern part of Western Colorado and not as good of a snowpack in the southwestern part of Colorado,”
“When you get down to the south you're running in the high 80 percent of normal for this date," said Strautins.

The Bureau of Land Management’s fire specialist these snowpack levels can really help. Lathan Johnson with BLM said, “What we're expecting for the upcoming fire season is probably a normal to below normal season looking at a lot of the indices we have right now in terms of snowpack and how much precipitation we're getting.”

The National Weather Service interprets data they get from the natural resource conservation service. They have 70 monitoring locations all over Colorado that takes measurements of precipitation, temperatures, and snowfall.

BLM officials said that even with the added snow that wildfires still happen every year in Colorado and residents should still exercise caution when outdoors, especially during the warmest months of June, July, and August.

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