Possible fire restrictions loom as wildfires continue to burn

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The start of fall is this weekend. Usually this time of year, we would see a lot less fire danger in the state. That's just simply not the case right now, with several fires burning and the possibility of more still looming.

Our dry summer is now heading into an even dryer fall. It’s soo bad in fact that we may go back into fire restrictions in the next few days.

"This is the busiest fire season I think that they have had here in several years,” said Rob Burger, Fire Management Officer, for the Upper Colorado River Interagency and Aviation Management Unit.

Bull Draw, Cabin Lake, Cache Creek, and Lake Christine are just a few of the fires still burning across our state.

"What we are waiting for is what we would like to call a season-ending event, the problem is that we are not seeing that and we don't expect that to happen anytime soon,” said Burger.

The Grand Valley has had hardly any rain this year and only a few sprinkles to come.

"It appears that we're heading back to restrictions within the next few days,” said Burger.

"We didn't get that monsoon, we only got a couple good pushes so that definitely did have an impact on the fire season,” said Megan Stackhouse, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service says our winter might also be a little dry compared to normal, and typically it’s our Spring and Fall that are the wetter months.

"Our best hope is actually today and into tomorrow we have a system that is moving into the area, it’s going to bring a cold front with it, so some cooler temperatures and also some scattered showers across the region the better focus is going to be down south which would be some help for the Bull Draw fire,” said Stackhouse.

Some wind and rain are forecasted for the next 24 hours but they say it's not going to be enough.

"Our containment is based on how much of that fire is in a spot that we don't believe it's going to move we don't want to give a containment and then have the fire come back to life on us a little bit and move outside of those containment lines so especially with those large fires we are taking our time we are being very patient in terms of what the containment is overall,” said Burger.

Taking a look on the financial toll so far, the Cache Creek fire has cost $6,300,000, Cabin Lake $14,025,000, and Lake Christine is at $17,400,000.

The UCR say we could know as early as Friday if we are going back into fire restrictions. The White River National Forest is one of the most at risk.

They will not put fires at full containment until the conditions have improved and hot spots have disappeared. That could take several weeks.

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