By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Denver (AP) Colorado's once-ample snowpack is melting earlier and much faster than usual, raising concerns about flooding, wildfire threat and water supplies.

Federal snow monitor Mike Gillespie says runoff doesn't normally start until April, but in some southwestern areas it has almost finished.

The National Interagency Fire Center predicted the dry weather will increase the wildfire threat.

The statewide snowpack was 77 percent of the 30-year average Wednesday. Three weeks ago it was 91 percent.

Skiers in shorts and kayakers on the rivers are another sign of the warm weather. A few small wildfires have already been reported.

Water managers say they are making sure they capture every drop of meltoff so supplies will be adequate.

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