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Dry Weather Increases Fire Danger; Warm Temperatures Expected All Season

Austin Cope

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.

Austin Cope is a former Morning Edition host for KSJD and now produces work on a freelance basis for the station. He grew up in Cortez and hosted a show on KSJD when he was 10 years old. After graduating from Montezuma-Cortez High School in 2010, he lived in Belgium, Ohio, Spain, northern Wyoming, and Himachal Pradesh, India before returning to the Cortez area. He has a degree in Politics from Oberlin College in Ohio.
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