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Hot, dry weather prompts Red Flag Warning; what local officials want you to know

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 5:33 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - High fire danger is a problem in Colorado Springs, and several fires including the Incline Fire and the Wild Horse Fire have sparked within a week of one another. Firefighters warn the weather won’t help and everyone needs to do their part.

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for El Paso County on Tuesday and again for Wednesday.

According to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, they too can issue the warnings and usually do so when temperatures are high, there is a lot of wind, and a lack of moisture. The sheriff’s office says lately calls into their office about fires have increased. They want to make sure if a fire sparks and someone sees it, that they call immediately so it doesn’t grow into something bigger.

“We had the Waldo Canyon Fire, which destroyed hundreds of homes. We had the Black Forest Fire, which destroyed hundreds of homes. It could just be a matter of time before it is your home, and it’s our responsibility as good community members to keep our community safe, and that is to take all of the precautions, heat, all restrictions under stage two fire restriction so that we can have a safe and burn-free community,” said Jacqueline Reed, the public information officer at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Colorado Springs Fire Department, this time of year is exceptionally dangerous when it comes to fires because of the dry leaves, grass, and other fuel that falls during the fall season. Fire Marshal Brett Lacey says while this is a big concern, we are never truly out of the woods when it comes to wildfires.

“Our fire season is throughout the year. We can have dry conditions, we live in a high mountain desert. So, the crews are working very hard to try to contain that, try to get a fire down an hour before the wind picks up because the wind obviously is not our friend, is going to pick up ash and embers and throw those. Ember is our biggest enemy,” said Lacey.

He adds he wants people to take any warning, including red flag warnings seriously. The fire marshal says if that means keeping cigarette butts inside a car or not starting fires using wood or coal, then it’s something we should all plan on doing.

“When the fire department is saying we are in a ban or restrictions, please heed that warning. ... I need everybody to be on their best behavior and be our best detectors. If you see smoke, please call that in early so we can jump on it as fast as possible," said Lacey.

The fire department wants people to share responsibility and be proactive when it comes to keeping wildfires from starting.

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