May 15, 2023 - Climate

How rainy spring days will help Colorado's wildfire season

Rushing water in the South Platte River at Confluence Park last week in Denver. Photo: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The rainy weather along the Front Range will provide a reprieve from wildfire conditions in Colorado.

Driving the news: The constant downpour late last week will mean greener grass, which is harder to catch fire or carry flames if a blaze breaks out, National Weather Service Denver forecast office meteorologist David Barjenbruch tells us.

  • Barjenbruch said the rainfall should help avoid wildfire conditions for the next four to six weeks.

What they're saying: "We haven't seen widespread amounts of rain like this since the 2013 floods," Barjenbruch tells us.

  • Last week's rainfall caused some flooding, but Barjenbruch said it was not significant.

Yes, but: Wildfire risks could increase when drier conditions arrive this summer.

  • A hot and dry season could create "conditions conducive" for a fire, but it's too early to forecast, NOAA spokesperson Theo Stein tells us.

Zoom in: The 2.92 inches of rain that fell in Denver last Thursday was the eighth-highest in a single day in recorded history, according to the National Weather Service.

  • Barjenbruch said downtown Denver got 4 to 4.5 inches of rain between Wednesday and Friday morning.

Of note: The rain also helps alleviate drought conditions in the city.


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