Front Range public lands have seen high vegetative growth from spring precipitation – which may fuel wildfires during dry, hot and windy weather

With visitation to public lands increasing and temperatures expected to continue hitting record levels, a group of federal, state and local public land agencies stress visitors need to recreate responsibly and exercise extreme caution to prevent wildfires this summer.

While the Denver-Metro area has had significant precipitation this year, the moisture has led to high vegetative growth that will dry out over the coming weeks and could fuel wildfires during hot and windy weather conditions.

This reminder from federal, state and local public land managers also comes as most areas of Colorado are experiencing severe drought conditions that have led communities across the western part of the state to institute fire restrictions. Public land visitors’ cooperation is critical in preventing catastrophic wildfires like those experienced by Colorado in 2020 when fires scorched hundreds of thousands of acres, destroyed hundreds of homes and helped produce the worst air-quality the Front Range has seen in a decade.

With the Fourth of July approaching, public land managers remind visitors they have a special responsibility to protect themselves, their families and friends, shared public lands, first responders and neighboring communities. Visitors should:

Officers who protect Colorado public lands will issue citations to anyone who possesses or lights fireworks and to those who light prohibited campfires. The group of federal, state and local public land agencies continue to remind visitors to practice responsible recreation guidelines, including:

  • “Know before you go.” Remember to plan ahead, know your limits and don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • Be courteous and inclusive. People have different reasons for visiting shared public lands. But everyone deserves respect and courtesy while recreating outdoors.
  • Enjoy and protect shared public lands. Remember to “Leave No Trace” and pack out all trash and dog waste. Know which public lands allow dogs on trails and which don't.
  • Don’t park illegally at trailheads. Make a backup plan in case a trailhead is full. Take shuttle services to popular trailheads and recreation areas.
  • Stay on trail and walk through mud. Step onto a bare spot or rock if you need to step off trail. Once others pass, immediately step back on trail.

Visitors should access public land websites including Colorado Trail Explorer to view critical advisories and trail maps BEFORE planning visits to public lands:

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