A prolonged dry spell has prompted Forest Service officials to warn of increased fire danger in the region.
In a release, San Juan National Forest Fire Management Officer Richard Bustamante says dry grasses are currently very flammable and can act as a carrier fuel to quickly spread a fire. The agency reminds people to pay special attention with open fires, cigarettes, and equipment that can produce sparks like chainsaws or ammunition.
Cortez received only two hundredths of an inch of precipitation of during the month of November, according to the National Weather Service. That’s about two percent of average. The region is now considered to be in moderate drought. Above-average temperatures are expected to continue through the rest of the season, though precipitation models remain unclear.