Colorado's high country has experienced headline-grabbing amounts of snowfall this year -- paradise for skiers -- but much of the valuable white stuff is trapped in the mountains.
Elsewhere in the state, it's drier than dry, and that adds up to a whole lot of danger.
The five-state region made up of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming "is some of the driest country we have in the United States, no question," Rick Cables of the U.S. Forest Service said. "And I think we're getting more fire activity than anywhere else at this point in the year."
"We believe the wake-up call is here," Cable said. "It seems like fire seasons are coming earlier and lasting longer."
Fire crews typically start late in the spring, but the Forest Service and other agencies are "hustling" to get resources pre-positioned earlier, Cables said.