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Stay Fire Aware

Current fire activity has decreased in Mesa County and fire restrictions have been lifted in certain areas, but the removal of those restrictions does not mean you can be careless.

Within the past few weeks, the Western Slope has seen the moisture it's been missing since winter.

"We definitely need the added moisture so any showers and thunderstorms that we can get into the area is a good thing for the region for our water supply and for putting out those fires that have been ignited," said Julie Malingowsky, Meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

The rain and drizzle is normally what we're used to seeing during this time of year, but Malingowsky says the precipitation for this year is below normal.

However, it is normal for Montrose, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest who have lifted their fire restrictions.

"When these restrictions start getting released it is an acknowledgment of circumstances, but it's our responsibility to stay vigilant and still act responsibly," said Dirk Clingman, spokesperson for the Grand Junction Fire Department.

He and GJFD want to remind you to be aware of your surroundings even if there are no longer fire restrictions in certain areas.

"It's important to know what county you're in, what restrictions are in place and be knowledgeable about what activity you can and cannot do."

And while precipitation is always needed it may come with lightning strikes causing harm to you and starting fires.

"Over half of the wildfires started in Colorado and Utah are caused by lightning," said Malingowsky.

She added for those who like hiking, especially 14-ers, coming off the mountain by 11 a.m. is highly suggested.

These tips and suggestions will take a community effort to help keep you safe and prevent any wildfires from happening.

Grand Junction is one of the remaining areas that is still under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions which means you are not allowed to use personal fireworks and no campfires outside of a campground.

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