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July 2018 County Lines

We are very blessed every day to be able to look out and see the majestic Rocky Mountains. The last month however, has been a smoke-filled view. With massive wildfire burning on every side of Fremont County, the valleys are filled with heavy smoke.

The health and condition of our forests have a great impact on the severity of wildfires. Dead trees can be found throughout the forest. Many of these trees are dying from beetle kill and drought. Fallen trees create fuel for fires and set the stage for insect and disease epidemics. Population growth into wildland areas where structures and other human developments meet or intermingle with wildfire fuels can present other challenges. These few factors can cause a fire to burn longer, do more damage and greatly increase the cost of fire suppression and recovery. With recent fires, many homes have been lost leaving people with no certain future.

Many of these fires are started by lightning, but some are caused by human carelessness. Most counties in Southern Colorado are on stage 2 fire restrictions, this includes Federal lands. Fire restrictions can be found online at There are people who feel they need a campfire and the restriction does not apply to them. Not true, they apply to everyone! With the lack of snow last winter and little to no rain this spring we are experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions. With the hot dry air and winds the fire potential is very high.

Tuesday, July 31, I will host a workshop at the Garden Park Building, 201 N 6th St. in Cañon City for anyone interested. The topic “Agriculture in Disaster” is a preparedness event. Speakers, Nick Striegel-DVM Co. Dept. of Agriculture, Christe Coleman Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Tim Canterbury, Past President of Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Rancher, will cover issues related to agriculture involved in disaster to include: livestock evacuation challenges during wildfire, land access and temporary re-entry discussions as well as wide spread disease, blizzard and drought issues. Incident command basic and Incident Management Team operations will be discussed to better understand the response side.

Wildfires can be devastating but homeowners can take steps to protect their property and help alleviate the spread of wildland fires by creating defensible space. Defensible space is the area around a home or other structure that has been modified to reduce fire hazard. Information on how to help protect your structures can be found on

Everyone be smart, be safe and pray for rain.


Dwayne McFall Fremont County Commissioner District 3