Colorado snowpack at 2 percent of normal |

Colorado snowpack at 2 percent of normal

Kirk Mitchell/The Denver Post

The last time the snowpack in Colorado was this low — which is nearly nil — was in 2002, when the Hayman Fire ravaged 214 square miles of forest land.

The difference today, however, is that many of Colorado's forests have been decimated by beetle kill, including much of the area where the High Park Fire has been burning, said Maggie Skordahl, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

So conditions are even worse than they were a decade ago.

"It's very conducive to large wildfires spreading," Skordahl said. "You are talking about drought conditions across the state. The soil is dry. The vegetation is dry. Precipitation is below normal and it's windy."

According to the June 1 Colorado Basin Outlook report released Tuesday, the snowpack in Colorado is 2 percent of average for the date and 1 percent of the snowpack measured June 1, 2011.


Recommended Stories For You

Go back to article