The first fire bans of the season are in effect in Colorado, as officials in Douglas County prohibit open fires. That's just one indicator that the summer fire season in the state may be a busy one.
For people living in the low to mid elevations of the Western Slope, the sound of fire-protection aircraft may be pretty common this summer.
Although fire season has not officially started here, fire managers are already looking at what may become a worse than average fire season.
Fire managers also look at what is called thousand–hour fuel moisture and that 40–day computer simulation gives an accurate picture of how dry fuels really are.
At the National Weather Service at Walker Field, fire weather forecasters look at a bigger picture, but they can and do create custom forecasts for fires and can even send a forecaster to a fire if needed.
Forecasters say the trends don't look good, which means for firefighters and residents it could be a long, hot summer.