Officials Forecast Mild Wildfire Threat For Colorado

<p>(Army National Guard/<a href="">Flickr/Creative Commons</a>)</p>
<p>The High Park wildfire near Fort Collins in June 2012.  </p>
Photo: Wildfire, High Park 2012, Poudre Canyon
The High Park wildfire near Fort Collins in June 2012.

For the third year in a row, state officials have announced that the threat of major wildfires in Colorado this season is relatively mild.

Still, at a Capitol news conference Tuesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper urged caution.

"Even with the weather conditions we see out there today and the good spring snow we’ve had in the last couple of months, we know from experience that this also brings risk," Hickenlooper said.

The governor used the words "average to below average" to describe this year’s wildfire threat. That’s based on precipitation that has already fallen and summer forecast models.

And when fires start – the governor touted aircraft the state added two years ago that can help spot small fires before they break out.

But Hickenlooper said weather can change in a hurry in Colorado and urged residents to be vigilant.

"Have you done everything you can to make sure that your house, your home, can withstand a wildfire?" he said.

The governor said even an average fire season can result in 3,000 wildfires.