Colorado Fires Force Refunds of Thousands of Hunting Licenses

by Jennifer Shea
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Colorado is beset by multiple wildfires, two of them the largest in the state’s history. 

The Cameron Peak Fire and the East Troublesome Fire are still blazing. They are 64% contained and 37% contained, respectively, as of Oct. 31.

Wildfires have torched more than 940 square miles in Colorado since July, the Fort Collins Coloradoan reported.

Colorado Hunters Facing Tough Conditions

Now Colorado hunters, who have never had to deal with wildfires before, are facing the effects of those blazes. They have run up against detours and park closures that have thrown a wrench into their hunting plans.

The state of Colorado has refunded more than 2,800 hunting license fees as a result of the fires, according to CPR News. But not all licenses are eligible for a refund. Hunters with access to multiple game management units are encouraged to move over to areas not impacted by wildfires.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife suggested that areas adjacent to the wildfires would make for good hunting because animals fleeing the fire zones would move into those spots. 

Emergency Closures

Still, many parts of the state remain affected. Officials have closed public lands, such as Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest, due to the record-breaking wildfires.

“This is the biggest closure of the Arapaho and Roosevelt that we are aware of, and it is the longest,” public affairs specialist Reid Armstrong told CPR.

The closures from the fires come amid unusually high traffic in open recreation areas due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are doing everything we can to not only continue to fight these seven fires that are still burning but also to help with some of the restoration and recovery efforts that come after the fires burn through an area,” Armstrong told CPR. “And that’s on top of one of the busiest recreation seasons we have ever seen. So we cannot afford to have another fire start on this forest.” 

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