State Budget Cuts Down Fire Crew Staffing

By: Chiara Lotierzo Email
By: Chiara Lotierzo Email

With the springtime heat quickly soaring into summer, and the seasonal gusting afternoon winds picking up, the Grand Valley is just a short time away from fire season.

So what's the outlook for the year, and has the slumping economy put out local fire agencies?

Mike Chamberlain from the National Weather Service says fires get strength and advantages from Mother Nature.

He says we're coming off a normal– to above–normal snow pack, which can be good for moisture, but not so good for fuel growth.

Bureau of Land Management Fire officials say the early spring rain helped grow fire fuels, like cheat grass.

Gary Helming with the BLM says the cheat grass is growing tall, but not so tall is the economy.

This year's state fire budget is affording them the same amount of equipment, but less staffing.

But Helming says he expects his crews can handle it, everyone will just have to work a little harder.

Fire officials say the official start of fire season is looking to be around Memorial Day this year.

The Weather Service says monsoon season will hopefully kick in around the second week of July.

Keeping an eye on those two factors will give us a better read on how tough, or easy, this year's fire season will be.


KKCO firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKCO 11News.

powered by Disqus
KKCO NBC 11 News 2531 Blichmann Avenue Grand Junction, CO 81505 Station Phone: 970.243.1111 Business Fax: 970.243.1770 Newsroom Fax: 970.245.3793 News Tip & Contest Line: 970.255.8477
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 44620132 - nbc11news.com/a?a=44620132