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May 9, 2013 10:54 PM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Governor Hickenlooper says upcoming wildfire season will be challenging

Governor John Hickenlooper said he was sure Colorado was in for another challenging wildfire season and urged everyone to exercise caution during a briefing with state and federal officials on Thursday.

Wild land managers said they were working on a statewide wildfire response plan that would include local, state and federal resources. Governor Hickenlooper said those in charge of fire response had learned a great deal from the Waldo Canyon Fire and the other major fires that struck in 2012.

The governor did say that early forecasts predict the summer season will not be as hot or dry as last year's, the 2012 wildfire season was one of the most destructive on record for Colorado. However, drought conditions exist in all parts of the state and are especially bad in southeastern Colorado where fire danger is still very high.

Hickenlooper stressed that it's still important for everyone to have a plan in place for a wildfire close to home, that homeowners should manage their property to create defensible space for firefighters and everyone should remain cautious when dealing with any kind of fire.

The wet spring is credited with lowering the fire danger in many parts of the state, but the governor said people should not be "lulled into a false sense of security" and remain vigilant.

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