Media Tip Sheet: Colorado State University Experts Available to Discuss Impacts of Yuma Wildfire

Note to Reporters: The following tip sheet is being provided to reporters to serve as a resource for expert sources on the Yuma wildfire. This tip sheet is for media use only and is not intended for publication.

Several Colorado State University faculty members and Extension agents and specialists are available to provide information about the effects of and recovery from a wildfire that scorched an estimated 85 square miles near Yuma, on Colorado’s Eastern Plains, over the weekend. The wildfire destroyed at least two homes and burned across land that is critical to Colorado wheat and cattle production.

Soil Erosion and issues critical to farmers
Bruce Bosley, a CSU Extension agent based in Sterling and specializing in cropping systems and natural resources on Colorado’s Eastern Plains, can address soil erosion and other issues critical to farmers in the rural communities affected by the fire. He may be reached at (970) 768-6449 or

Farm-management, finance and marketing issues
John Deering, regional Extension economist, based in Akron, specializes in farm-management, finance and marketing issues and can discuss these issues in the context of fire recovery. Deering lives in Yuma and his family farms in the region. He may be reached at (970) 345-2287 or

Livestock operations
Michael J. Fisher, a livestock Extension agent based in Wray, in Yuma County, is closely involved with understanding the extent of fire damage. Fisher can provide an overview of livestock operations in Yuma County; he has helped develop emergency plans for local livestock. He may be reached at (970) 630-1650 or

Assessing damage and wildfire recovery
Casey Matney, regional range Extension specialist for Northeastern Colorado, based in Sterling, has taken a lead in efforts to assess damage and to help with wildfire recovery. He is providing news updates and recovery information on his website, Addressed are topics including grazing management, preventing soil erosion, reseeding efforts and property-damage assessment after wildfires in plains regions; Matney can address issues related to ecology and biology. He may be reached at (970) 518-0903 or

Economic impact and economic recovery
James Pritchett, associate professor in the CSU Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, can discuss economic impacts of the fire and time to economic recovery. Pritchett is an expert in topics including crop insurance for dryland wheat, business planning for family farmers, and a variety of economic issues tied to limited water resources. Pritchett may be reached at (970) 491-5496 or

Yuma County Forester
Norland Hall is the Fort Morgan District Forester for the Colorado State Forest Service. Hall’s district includes Yuma County. To speak with Hall, contact Ryan Lockwood at (970) 491-8970 or

Seedling Tree Program
Randy Moench, CSFS nursery manager, can talk about the state’s seedling tree program, seedling uses (i.e., forest restoration and the creation of windbreaks), requirements to qualify for low-cost seedling trees, tree planting tips and how landowners can apply for and obtain seedlings from the CSFS. To speak with Moench, contact Ryan Lockwood at (970) 491-8970 or

Wildfire economics
Douglas Rideout, CSU wildfire economist and director of the WESTFIRE Research Center, can discuss the economics and management of wild and prescribed fires, the wildland-urban interface, strategic analysis and budgeting of fire programs, fuel management and initial attack systems. The center has played a central role in the construction and implementation of the new Fire Program Analysis system that is being implemented nationally to support fire program planning. To speak with Rideout, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Forest fuel management
Frederick "Skip" Smith, department head of CSU’s Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, is available to discuss how forest and fuel management is a key factor in reducing wildland fire risk. To speak with Smith, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

CSU veterinarians: livestock injuries and treating cattle
Colorado State University veterinarians can talk about what injuries livestock may have suffered as well as how to treat cattle and other livestock for burns and smoke inhalation (analgesics, antibiotics, euthanasia for those who are most severely affected). To speak with a livestock veterinarian, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or