2018 shaping up to be a busy fire season in Colorado

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jun 17, 2018

DENVER — It's hard to imagine with all the haze and flames we've seen all over the state that's it's not fire season yet. 

Fire season starts in July and fire experts are predicting another busy season. 

A study conducted by CU professor and director of Earth Lab, Jennifer Bolch, found that 2017 was the most expensive fire season nationally at $18 billion.

The study points out to several factors as to why fire season was so damaging last year. Among them is climate change, which has made the Western US about two-degrees warmer than in past decades.

Finally, more people are moving to the West, which typically has ample open space and flammable landscape.

"We are providing the ignition that starts a lot of our wildfires, and in 2017 in the Western US, really 90 percent of wildfires were started by people,” said Bolch.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that 2017's fire season cost $18 million. The correct number is $18 billion.