Fires, droughts affect wildlife

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- At least 15 fires are blazing through federal lands in the state of Colorado and much of the land is home to wildlife.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said animals are used to the fires because they can happen naturally. They said some animals may be displaced, especially the young. If that happens wildlife can come down to towns and cities nearby. Though, uninjured animals can be an issue.

“Generally with bears, have a two-strike policy, where we'll move a bear once if it's been in trouble,” said Brad Petch, a biologist at Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “If that bear comes back in and starts to create difficulties again, in most cases, that bear is euthanized.”

CPW said uninjured animals would be more common to see. They said a bigger issue, however, is the drought and high temperatures. The river levels are low and the water temps are high, which can affect the fish.

CPW has set voluntary restrictions on some rivers and lakes because of the drought. They said to fish early in the morning if you can.

Wildlife officials also say to make sure trash is stored properly so as not to attract animals who may be on the hunt for another food source.

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