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7/18/2013 County’s fire ban is lifted


Sheriff Fred Jobe announced that on Monday, July 15, the fire ban for the town, county, BLM and U.S. National Forest has been suspended. He explained that because of the rain and cooler temperatures, Custer County is in better shape now than earlier in the summer.

John Piquette, local meteorologist, explained that Westcliffe has seen a third of an inch of rainfall since July 14.

"That’s hardly any," Piquette said. "In the whole month of July last year, we were getting two inches of rain."

Piquette predicted that Westcliffe will have a few more rains before August, spotty storms here and there, but nothing to the extent that is needed to end the drought.

"In the foothills to the west," Piquette stated, "they’ve been getting more rain than we have."

He explained that is why the fire ban was suspended.

"Westcliffe, this year, has just had over an inch of rain," Piquette said. "July and August are the rainiest months of the year."

He hopes more rain will fall before the end of summer, but said it looks like it will continue to be a dry year as it has been for the past three.

People are advised to call the Sheriff’s office before doing agricultural burns, or other burns, to check if conditions are suitable. To reach the Sheriff’s office, call (719) 783-2270.