A 400-acre fire is burning in two wildlife areas in Bent County.

Sure, it's on the other side of the state. Nearly in Kansas but it's officially the first Colorado wildfire of 2019. The threat of wildfires in the high country and on the western slope have diminished greatly after record-setting snowfall and an "above average" snowpack. This fire serves as a reminder the threat is never "zero" no matter how much snow or rain.

This Bent County fire is no picnic. 42 firefighters from 15 different agencies are currently on-site working to contain the blaze. High winds on the front range are fanning the fire that's burned over 400 acres in the John Martin Reservoir and Fort Lyon state wildlife areas. Seven homes were evacuated and however, there have been no reports of injuries or structures destroyed.

The region is currently under a Red Flag Warning. High winds hit the front range starting Thursday and have continued throughout the day today. The warning continues until 7 PM on Friday evening.

It's unlikely that the wildfire season of 2019 will be anything close what Colorado has experienced over the last couple of years. Wildfires were a way of life here for seemingly forever with at times, numerous fires burning simultaneously across Colorado. Fire safety should be a way of life. Never leave a campfire unattended, flick out a cigarette butt, or start a fire under windy conditions.

Credit: The Gazette

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