"We can have large fires during the winter months," John Benson, Chief of the Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District, said. "There is no moisture; the grasses are cured out; we get high winds and if we have the temperatures, we see some of our worst fires."
Proof of that was seen as recently as Jan. 7, 2009 when the wind-driven Old Stage Fire destroyed homes. That fire was pushed by high winds that made it impossible for firefighters get in front of the fire and try to stop it.
"Wind-driven fires are as dangerous as it gets," Benson said. "It doesn't take long to have a six inch flame length go to four or five feet flame lengths."
Those winds and the extremely dry conditions have firefighters on edge.
"Right now, for November it is extremely dry. This is unusual for us," Benson said.
In the month of November Boulder County received about one-third of the normal precipitation.
Because of the conditions, Boulder County officials are considering fire restrictions or a complete fire ban on the foothills of the county.
Jay Stalnacker, the fire management officer for Boulder County, says if the weather conditions don't change significantly in the next week it is very likely that those restrictions or a complete ban will be place on the foothills.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)