The 12 members of the Boise Smokejumpers based at Walker Field's Interagency Air Tanker Center are making the most of what could be their last chance to relax today as the National Weather Service calls for a red flag warning for extreme fire danger because of lightning this afternoon.
So far this year the smoke jumpers have been called out just once,
for a fire that broke out north of Moab over the Memorial Day weekend. Although fire managers say it's impossible to predict what will happen with the fire season in western Colorado, the fire center is already prepared with full staffing of 30 people to support the air crews. In addition, the center has already put in a call for additional resources including a 20-person Hotshot crew and additional engines and crews.
The fire season has already given some indication of its' possible severity as the Front Range, Arizona and New Mexico have already had significant blazes.
BLM spokesperson Mel Lloyd says fire restrictions could go into effect on public lands in Mesa County in the next two weeks. 11 news will keep you informed as to when those bans go in effect.