Wildfire Season Off to an Early Start

Blazes in Colorado and Great Smoky Mountains

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Wildfire season is off to a roaring start this year as two large blazes have already caused hundreds of evacuations and damages. In the Great Smoky Mountains, a 200-acre fire that began Sunday evening has destroyed at least 30 rental cabins at the Pigeon Forge resort area of Sevier County, and forced the evacuation of 200 people. No serious injuries were reported.

The second fire, west of Fort Collins, Colorado, began on a dry, windy Friday night and has so far destroyed between 750 and 1,000 acres of land. Officials said that the fire was “75 percent contained” as of Monday morning and have allowed the several hundred evacuees to begin returning to their homes. The fire is suspected to have been caused by human activity.

Colorodans are likely hoping that these early fires are not a sign of another rough season. Last year, a dry winter led to a historic wildfire season that destroyed over 200,000 acres and 600 homes. “We’ve even had larger fires in January and February,” Poudre Fire Authority Captain Patrick Love told the Los Angeles Times. “But the drought that we have been in, in this portion of the state, has somewhat played a role in the dryness of all the fuels.”

Read about how to protect yourself from wildfires.

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