Wildfire forcing animals to lurk in neighborhoods for food


The High Chateau Fire left its mark in Teller County, burning through through more than 1,400 acres of land and destroying multiple homes.

The fire also forced animals out of their natural habitat, limiting their food options and leading them to  seek out food in local neighborhoods.

Ron Wampole owns property in Florissant. He said animals like deer, bears and elk roam through his property late at night. However, he makes sure to keep his distance, and takes extra precautions in securing his trash.

“I don’t want them to get used to human food, that’s the worst thing, and I also don’t go out and try to feed them,” Wampole said.

Wildlife officers said everyone should be taking the precautions Wampole is taking.

“People need to be more mindful as far as attractants go,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Cody Wigner said.

Winger said to make sure your trash is out of reach of these animals, and whatever you do, don’t feed them.

Fines can range from $70 to a couple hundred dollars and even possible jail time if you are caught feeding big game.

“They’re wildlife, so they are wild, and they don’t need human assistance,” Wigner said. “They’ve evolved with wildfires throughout their entire species.”

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