Thornton, Colorado, USA
UpdatedFri, 24-Mar-2017 10:05am MDT 


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Wet & blustery Friday to give way to drier Saturday, showers again possible Sunday

Friday, March 24th, 2017 5:12am MDT

We had voiced our doubts about us receiving much snow overnight and indeed, we received rain but it is very welcome. That will be coming to an end this morning leading to drier conditions until Saturday evening and Sunday when showers have a chance to return.

For today, a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until noon although it is not really necessary in our area and likely will be dropped soon. As of this writing we have received nearly a half inch of much-needed precipitation in the form of rain. There may be a snowflake or two mixed in there but it won’t amount to much. Look for showers to begin tapering off after about 9:00am, ending entirely by noon. High temperatures are going to be in the mid-50s, right near normal. The wind that started yesterday evening though is going to continue into this evening before ending. Overnight tonight lows will dip close to freezing under partly cloudy skies.

Saturday looks to be the nicest day of the three day period.  Mostly sunny skies will be above and winds light. Look for highs tomorrow in the low to mid-60s. A weak system moves in tomorrow evening and with it we see a slight chance of showers after 6:00pm through the night. Lows Saturday night into Sunday morning will be in the upper 30s.

Shower chances increase in the early morning Sunday and last throughout the day. There isn’t a lot of moisture though so precipitation totals should be light. Highs will be the mid-50s.

Have a great weekend and keep an eye on temperatures, wind speeds and precipitation totals here.

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Denver sets record high temperature for March 23

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 5:12pm MDT

Record High TemperaturesWith wintry weather just hours away, Denver’s recent warm spell let out one last gasp with a record high temperature.

At 3:03pm the high temperature at Denver International Airport, where the Mile High City’s official measurements are taken, reached 77 degrees.  This broke the record high for the date set in 2012 and previous years.

Here in Thornton we were just a touch cooler topping out at 76.1 degrees at 1:51pm.

While the month of March has continued the unseasonably warm weather that began in February, this is the first record high set this month.  The weather picture changes considerably, at least in the short term, with a blast of cold and snow set to arrive tonight.

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Thornton to get one more mild day before moisture, cooler temps arrive

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 5:14am MDT

Today is the last of our most recent string of unseasonably warm days. An approaching storm system is going to bring some much needed precipitation to the area tonight and tomorrow.

For today look for mostly sunny skies to be above during the daytime hours with clouds increasing by late afternoon into the evening. Temperatures will once again climb to well above normal with a high expected in the low 70s. Average for today’s date is 57 degrees.

Winds will be calm initially then begin picking up speed later this morning and remain breezy into the evening. The wind, low humidity and dry fuels have prompted the issuance of a Red Flag Warning that will be in effect from noon to 6:00pm. Fire danger is going to be very high and any blazes that get started could see very fast growth.

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As for the coming storm system, we see a chance for rain showers after about 6:00pm this evening with them becoming likely after midnight. As temperatures drop overnight to near freezing, we should see a bit of snow mix in and continue through Friday morning. It is expected to be very windy overnight and into tomorrow morning with gusts potentially hitting 50mph.

As we have been saying in recent days, we don’t believe we will see a great deal of snow out of this system with most of the precipitation coming in the form of rain. Perhaps 1 to 3 inches will be possible from pre-dawn Friday through the morning hours. There is going to be a fine line between rain and snow and that could certainly change.

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March 19 to March 25: This week in Denver weather history

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 4:42am MDT
This Week In Denver Weather History

March 19 to March 25: This week in Denver weather history

March is of course one of Denver’s snowiest months, oftentimes bringing our biggest snowfalls of the season. We see this fact bear out in our look back with many events having delivered extraordinary snowfall totals.

From the National Weather Service:


In 1906…an extended cold and blustery period occurred with light snow totaling 14.4 inches over 11 consecutive days. The greatest amount of snow on a single day was 4.0 inches on the 15th. Only a trace of snow fell on the 12th and 17th. High temperatures were below freezing for the entire period. The coldest were 14 degrees on the 16th and 18 degrees on the 17th. Both readings were record low maximums for the dates. Low temperatures were mostly in the single digits. The coldest were 2 degrees below zero on the 16th and 5 degrees below zero on the 19th. Northeast winds were sustained to 22 mph on the 9th. North winds were sustained to 36 mph on the 10th…32 mph on the 13th…and 22 mph on the 15th.


In 1933…rain changed to snow on the evening of the 17th and continued through mid-day of the 19th. Snowfall totaled 5.6 inches with 0.83 inch of precipitation in the city. North winds were sustained to 38 mph with gusts to 46 mph on the 18th and to 30 mph with gusts to 43 mph on the 19th.

In 2003…one of the worst blizzards since historic records began in 1872 struck metro Denver with a vengeance. Heavy wet snow accumulating to around 3 feet in the city and to more than 7 feet in the foothills brought transportation to a near standstill. North winds sustained to 30 mph with gusts as high as 41 mph produced drifts to 6 feet in the city. The estimated cost of property damage alone…not including large commercial buildings…was 93 million dollars… Making it the costliest snowstorm ever. Mayor Wellington Webb of Denver said…”this is the storm of the century…a backbreaker…a record breaker…a roof breaker.” Two people died in Aurora from heart attacks after shoveling the heavy wet snow. The National Guard sent 40 soldiers and 20 heavy duty vehicles to rescue stranded travelers along I-70 east of gun club road. The heavy wet snow caused roofs of homes and businesses to collapse. The snow also downed trees…branches…and power lines. Two people were injured when the roofs of their homes collapsed. In Denver alone…at least 258 structures were damaged. In Arvada…a roof collapse at West Gate Stables killed a horse. Up to 135 thousand people lost power during the storm…and it took several days for power to be restored in some areas. Denver International Airport was closed…stranding about 4000 travelers. The weight of the heavy snow caused a 40-foot gash in a portion of the tent roof…forcing the evacuation of that section of the main terminal building. Avalanches in the mountains and foothills closed many roads…including I-70…stranding hundreds of skiers and travelers. Along I-70…an avalanche released by the Colorado department of transportation…blocked the interstate in both directions for several hours. Several residences between Baskerville and Silver Plume were evacuated because of the high avalanche danger. At Eldora Ski Area…270 skiers were stranded when an avalanche closed the main access road. After the storm ended…a military helicopter had to ferry food to the resort until the road could be cleared. The heavy snow trapped thousands of residents in their foothills homes in Jefferson County for several days. Two homes burned to the ground when fire crews could not reach the residences. Some schools remained closed well into the following week. The storm officially dumped 31.8 inches of snow at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport…the most snowfall from a single storm since the all-time record snowfall of 37.5 inches on December 4-5…1913. The storm made March 2003 the snowiest March on record…the 4th snowiest month on record… And the 5th wettest March on record. The 22.9 inches of snow on the 18th into the 19th was the greatest 24 hour snowfall ever recorded in the city during the month of March. The storm was also a drought-buster…breaking 19 consecutive months of below normal precipitation in the city. Snowfall across metro Denver ranged from 2 feet to more than 3 feet. The highest amounts included: 40 inches in Aurora…38 inches in Centennial and 6 miles east of Parker…37 inches at Buckley AFB…35 inches in southwest Denver…34 inches in Louisville… 32 inches in Arvada…31 inches in Broomfield and Westminster… And 22.5 inches in Boulder. In the foothills…snowfall ranged from 3 feet to more than 7 feet. Some of the most impressive storm totals included: 87.5 inches atop Fritz Peak and in Rollinsville…83 inches at cabin creek…74 inches near Bergen Park…73 inches northwest of Evergreen…72 inches in Coal Creek Canyon…70 inches at Georgetown…63 inches near Jamestown…60 inches near Blackhawk…55 inches at Eldora Ski Area…54 inches 8 miles west of Sedalia…and 46.6 inches at Ken Caryl Ranch. The storm was the result of a very moist…intense slow moving Pacific system which tracked across the four corners and into southeastern Colorado…which allowed deep easterly upslope flow to form along the Front Range.


In 1927…heavy snowfall was 6.5 inches in downtown Denver. Northwest winds were sustained to 28 mph on the 18th.

In 1974…heavy snowfall totaled 5.8 inches at Stapleton International Airport where northeast winds gusted to 33 mph on the 19th.




In 1907…a warm spell resulted in 6 daily temperature records. Record maximum temperatures of 82 degrees occurred on the 18th with 81 degrees on the 19th and 80 degrees on the 20th. Record high minimum temperatures of 52 degrees occurred on the 19th and 20th with 54 degrees on the 21st.



In 1969…high winds buffeted the Front Range foothills causing damage in Boulder and Jefferson counties. A freight train was derailed near the entrance to a canyon 20 miles west of Denver when some empty cars were caught on a curve by a gust of wind. Two light planes were heavily damaged at Jefferson County Airport. Winds gusted to 105 mph at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder…62 mph in downtown Boulder…and 80 to 90 mph at Boulder airport. Northwest winds gusted to 49 mph at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1976…northwest winds gusted to 55 mph in Denver with stronger winds along the foothills. The strong cold winds kicked up some blowing dust…reducing the visibility to near zero at times at Stapleton International Airport.

In 1982…high winds across metro Denver caused minor damage to a few mobile homes at Lowry Air Force Base. West wind gusts reached 51 mph at Stapleton International Airport where visibility was briefly reduced to 1/4 mile in blowing dust.

In 1995…strong winds associated with a pacific cold front blew across metro Denver. A west wind gust to 48 mph was recorded at Denver International Airport. Winds gusted to 59 mph at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport.

In 2010…a storm system produced deep upslope and brought heavy snow to areas in and near the Front Range. The foothills of Boulder and Jefferson counties were the hardest hit. Storm totals included: 26 inches at Coal Creek Canyon…25.5 inches…4 miles southeast of Conifer; 25 inches at Genesee…24.5 inches near Kittredge… 23.5 inches…6 miles east of Nederland…20.5 inches…3 miles west of Jamestown…5 miles southeast of Aspen Park and 5 miles southeast Idaho Springs; and 18 inches near Ralston buttes. In and around Denver…storm totals included: 15 inches in Golden; 12.5 inches in Boulder…11.5 inches at Lone Tree; 10.5 inches near Castle Pines; 11 inches…6.5 miles southwest of Castle Rock; 10 inches near Englewood…Highlands Ranch and 3 miles southwest of wheat ridge; 9 inches…4 miles west of Arvada…Broomfield…Centennial…Elizabeth and Westminster; 8.5 inches…in southeast Denver and Littleton; 7.5 inches in Louisville and near Thornton; 7 inches…4 miles south of Aurora…Lakewood and Niwot; 6.5 inches…4 miles northwest of Castle Rock…4 miles northwest of Denver and Northglenn; 6 inches in Brighton and 5 miles southeast of Sedalia. Officially… 1.7 inches of snow was measured at Denver International Airport.


Iin 1912…post-frontal heavy snowfall of 6.3 inches was measured in downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 28 mph with gusts to 30 mph on the 19th. The strong cold front plunged temperatures from a high of 60 degrees on the 19th to a low of 1 degree on the 20th.

In 1959…a major storm dumped heavy snowfall of 7.7 inches on Stapleton Airport where north winds gusting to 44 mph caused much blowing and drifting snow. Many highways were blocked…and there was damage to phone lines along the South Platte River. The storm started as rain and changed to heavy wet snow…which froze on the lines causing the poles to break. The storm caused 2 deaths over eastern Colorado.

In 2006…strong northerly winds…associated with a surface low pressure system that intensified as it moved into the central Great Plains…brought heavy wet snow to the eastern foothills and northeastern plains of Colorado. The hardest hit areas included the foothills of Boulder and Gilpin counties. Storm totals included: 15 inches at Rollinsville… 14 inches at Aspen Springs…12.5 inches near Nederland…and 5.7 inches in the Denver Stapleton area. Strong winds…heavy snow…and poor visibility forced the closure of interstate 70 from Denver east to the Kansas state line. North winds gusted to 32 mph at Denver International Airport on the 19th.


In 1888…heavy snowfall totaled 8.6 inches over downtown Denver. North winds were sustained to 27 mph on the 19th.


In 1915…north winds were sustained to 40 mph with gusts to 42 mph. Only a trace of snow fell.

In 1989…2 to 6 inches of snow fell along the Front Range urban corridor with up to 9 inches in Boulder. Only 1.6 inches of snowfall were measured at Stapleton International Airport where north winds gusted to 36 mph.


In 1878…warm days with high temperatures in the lower 70’s in the city…caused snow to melt on the palmer divide…which caused the waters in Cherry Creek to rise. The high…rapid running water damaged a home and eroded bridge footings and abutments. Some bridges became unsafe for the passage of trains.

In 1904…southwest winds sustained to 48 mph with gusts to 60 mph warmed the temperature to a high of 68 degrees on the 20th. The high was only 42 degrees on the 21st behind a cold front…which produced 1.3 inches of snow and northeast winds sustained to 27 mph overnight.

In 1923…post-frontal rain changed to heavy snow and totaled 8.2 inches over the city. North winds were sustained to 27 mph with gusts to 29 mph on the 20th. This was the second major snow in a week.

In 1932…rain changed to heavy snow…which totaled 6.2 inches in downtown Denver. North winds gusted to 22 mph on the 21st.

In 1948…heavy snowfall totaled 7.2 inches over downtown Denver.

In 1952…a major snow storm produced north wind gusts to 35 mph and dumped 16.9 inches of snowfall on Stapleton Airport. The maximum snow depth on the ground was 13 inches due to melting.

In 2000…heavy snow fell in and near the foothills of Douglas and Jefferson counties. Snowfall totals included: 9 inches near tiny town and 7 inches in Littleton. Snowfall totaled only 1.8 inches at the site of the former Stapleton International Airport. North winds gusted to 34 mph at Denver International Airport on the 20th.

20-22 » Click here to read the rest of March 19 to March 25: This week in Denver weather history

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Unseasonably warm temps, plenty of sun for Wednesday

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 5:53am MDT

An oft-repeated weather forecast for Thornton today as we once again enjoy a mild, dry day. Change is on the way though with precipitation looking likely tomorrow night into Friday. Will it be snow though?

For today we start with mostly clear skies and for the most part similar conditions will be above throughout the day. The late afternoon and evening will bring a bit of an increase in the cloud coverage.

Temperatures today start out a bit chilly but then will warm up nicely to the low to mid-70s. Winds will generally be calm.

Looking ahead, Thursday will be another warm day and then a system will begin to make itself felt overnight. Precipitation becomes likely late tomorrow night / early Friday morning continuing for a good part of the day Friday.

The big question mark is what form that precipitation takes. Temperatures are going to be crucial in determining whether we get rain or snow. Right now it appears the snow level will be just above us leaving us with rain. That could change though as we are still almost 48 hours away from the event.

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Thornton’s Tuesday brings a bit cooler temps, slight chance for showers

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 5:50am MDT

With a weak front having backdoored into the area late yesterday, we mix things up just a bit today. Temperatures remain well above normal but do cool over recent highs and we even see a slight chance for showers and perhaps some thunder.

The day starts out with partly clear skies and similar conditions will be above due to increased moisture aloft. Temperatures will warm steadily toward a mid to late afternoon high in the upper 60s.

By late afternoon lower levels begin to see some moisture which brings just a slight chance for a rain shower into the evening. Some instability may be present leading to some thunder.

Looking ahead, we will be dry and warmer tomorrow then Thursday looks somewhat similar to today. There has been some talk about a stronger storm system arriving Friday along with some hype from other media outlets. Moisture does look to increase and temperatures cool bringing a better chance for precipitation. At this time though, we are inclined to think this would be more in the form of rain for the Front Range with the snow remaining at higher altitudes. We will get a better feel for it as the system gets closer.

In the meantime, check out http://www.thorntonweather.com for all the latest.

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March 2017 top shots: Monthly photo slideshow

Monday, March 20th, 2017 11:06am MDT
Iridescent clouds make for a stunning scene at the end of the day on March 10, 2017. (Allan Jeffers)

Iridescent clouds make for a stunning scene at the end of the day on March 10, 2017. (Allan Jeffers)

The month of March is the start of meteorological spring and while conditions do begin warming, winter weather is certainly out of the question.  From hot to cold, snow to rain, the conditions can be very conducive to great pictures as we see in our slideshow.

March in Denver typically means frequent and rapid weather changes. The days grow longer and we start enjoying more sunshine and sometimes summer-like weather. However, on occasion arctic air masses can still force their way south into Colorado dropping temperatures quickly and markedly.

With the active wildlife, increased outdoor activities by us humans, and of course the weather, March imagery contains a wide variety of subjects and extremes.

  • Slideshow updated March 20, 2017. To learn more about how to send your photo to us for inclusion in the slideshow, see below the slideshow.

Showcasing images captured by ThorntonWeather.com readers as well as some of our own, our monthly slideshow covers the entire gamut of weather-related imagery.

Sunsets, sunrises, wildlife and of course every type of weather condition are vividly depicted in images captured from yours and our cameras.

What is missing in the slideshow above?  Your photo!

Our monthly photo slideshow is going to feature images that we have taken but more importantly images that you have captured.  The photos can be of anything even remotely weather-related.

Landscapes, current conditions, wildlife, pets, kids.  Whimsical, newsy, artsy.  Taken at the zoo, some other area attraction, a local park, a national park or your backyard.  You name it, we want to see and share it!

Images can be taken in Thornton, Denver or anywhere across the extraordinary Centennial State.  We’ll even take some from out of state if we can tie it to Colorado somehow.

We’ll keep the criteria very open to interpretation with just about any image eligible to be shown in our slideshows.

What do you win for having your image in our slideshow?  We are just a ‘mom and pop’ outfit and make no money from our site so we really don’t have the means to provide prizes.  However you will have our undying gratitude and the satisfaction that your images are shared on the most popular website in Thornton.

To share you images with us and get them included in the slideshow just email them to us or share them with ThorntonWeather.com on any of the various social media outlets.  Links are provided below.

So come on, get those camera’s rolling!

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First day of spring continues Thornton’s unseasonably warm weather

Monday, March 20th, 2017 5:05am MDT

The change of seasons occurred this morning at 4:29am and we are going to start spring off the same way we finished up winter with temperatures well above normal.

We start out the day with partly clear skies and will see a slow, steady increase in cloud cover as the day progresses. That will help to inhibit temperatures but not by much. We expect a high today around 80 degrees, well above the 56 degree average for the date. Winds will be calm most of the day then become just a bit breezy in the mid-afternoon into the evening.

As a weak cold front pushes through, we do see just the slightest chance for a rain shower soon after dark until about midnight. Lows tonight will be down into the mid-40s.

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Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week in Review

Saturday, March 18th, 2017 6:00am MDT
Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness

Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week, March 15 – 21, 2015.

Floods and wildfires are arguably the two most common disasters Coloradans face with numerous such events occurring each year.  To better prepare residents for the danger of these disasters, this week is Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week.

Each day this week the National Weather Service will be posting public information statements covering a number of different topics about floods and wildfires.  These important messages should be required reading for all Coloradans so they know what to do to prepare for these events and handle them when they occur.

ThorntonWeather.com will be posting each of these messages as a service to our readers.  The first of these messages is below.  Check back each day this week for further topics.

600 AM MDT SAT MARCH 18 2017


Colorado has more than its fair share of floods, flash floods, and wildfires. During the past week, in our effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation, we have presented information to you on how to stay safe and minimize property damage during flood and wildfire threats.

When a flash flood warning is issued for your area, you need to quickly move to higher ground out of drainages or other low spots. It may be just a short run or climb to that higher ground.

Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles. Do not drive through a flooded roadway. Instead turn around…do not drown. The water may be much deeper than you think, because it may not be possible to see below the surface of flood waters that the roadway has been washed away. One to two feet of water will carry away most vehicles. Additional flood safety information can be found at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov

Areas burned by wildfires are highly susceptible to flash floods, especially within the first two or three years after the wildfire has occurred. Wildfires by themselves destroy much property and occasionally result in fatalities within Colorado. There are actions you can take to protect yourself and minimize the wildfire threat to your property.

If you live near or within a forest or rangeland, you are encouraged to make a defensible space around your home and other structures. Information on how to make a defensible space around your home can be found on the Colorado State Forest Service website at http://csfs.colostate.edu/pages/defensible-space.html

River flooding from snowmelt or persistent rainfall can cause extensive damage to property. There are estimated to be 65 thousand homes and 15 thousand commercial, industrial, and business structures in identified floodplains within Colorado. FEMA has online maps that show if you are in a flood risk area. To access those maps, go to https://msc.fema.gov

If you live in a flood prone area, buying flood insurance is the best thing you can do to protect your home, your business, your family and your financial security. To find an insurance agent and obtain other flood insurance information, go to FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program web site at www.floodsmart.gov

As a reminder, there is generally a 30-day waiting period from the time a flood insurance policy is purchased to when it goes into effect.

Additional information on floods and wildfires is available from your local National Weather Service web sites…

http://www.weather.gov/denver NWS Denver/Boulder web site
http://www.weather.gov/pueblo NWS Pueblo web site
http://www.weather.gov/goodland NWS Goodland web site
http://www.weather.gov/gjt NWS Grand Junction web site


Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week

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Wildfire Safety and Mitigation – Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week

Friday, March 17th, 2017 5:06am MDT

WildfiresFloods and wildfires are arguably the two most common disasters Coloradans face with numerous such events occurring each year.  To better prepare residents for the danger of these disasters, this week is Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week.

Each day this week the National Weather Service will be posting public information statements covering a number of different topics about floods and wildfires.  These important messages should be required reading for all Coloradans so they know what to do to prepare for these events and handle them when they occur.

ThorntonWeather.com will be posting each of these messages as a service to our readers.  Please check back daily for a new topic.

600 AM MDT FRI MARCH 17 2017


During this Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week we have discussed floods, flash floods, and how to stay safe when flooding threatens. We also told you that areas burned by wildfires are highly susceptible to flash floods within the first two or three years after the wildfire.

Today we will provide you with information about wildfire safety and mitigation that could save your life and minimize destruction to your personal property.

Colorado experienced some very devastating wildfires in 2013, including the Black Forest Fire, the Royal Gorge Wildfire, and the West Fork Complex which burned over a hundred thousand acres of forest. Two people were killed and over five hundred houses and other buildings were destroyed from the Black Forest Wildfire.

All wildfires need fuel to burn, typically in the form of dry vegetation, as often occurs in forests, grasslands, and cured wheat fields. Tragically, some wildfires also kill people and destroy homes, vehicles, and other personal property. If you live near or within a forest, grassland, or wheat field, there are some actions you can take to minimize your vulnerability to wildfires.

If you are a homeowner, the first defense against wildfires is to create and maintain a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is the area around a home or other structure where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire. Creating wildfire-defensible zones also reduces the chance of a structure fire spreading to neighboring homes or the surrounding forest. Defensible space also provides room for firefighters to do their jobs when fighting a wildfire.

More information on how to make a defensible space around your home can be found on the Colorado State Forest Service website at http://csfs.colostate.edu/pages/defensible-space.html

During periods of extreme fire danger in forests and rangelands…

…you should avoid being in areas where you might become trapped by a wildfire.

…you should avoid the use of matches or anything else which could ignite a fire.

…make sure that hot parts of motorized equipment, such as mufflers, are not allowed to come in contact with dry grasses or other potentially flammable material.

If you become trapped or cut off by a wildfire, seek shelter in areas with little or no fuel, such as rock slide areas or lakes.

For more information on wildfires and fire safety, please check out the following web addresses…


Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week continues through this Saturday.


Colorado Flood Safety and Wildfire Preparedness Week

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