While this weekend's rain was welcome, it won't get Southwest Colorado out if its current drought.
The San Juan National Forest re-opened on Thursday, while the U.S. Forest Service, La Plata County, Bureau of Land Management and Southern Ute Indian Tribe still ban fires on public, private and tribal lands.
In Vallecito, the reservoir is down to 72,130 acre feet of water, or almost 54,000 acre feet less than the full storage capacity of 125,800 AF, said Ken Beck, the superintendent of the Pine River Irrigation District.
While the drought continues, some of the ditches fed by the reservoir will have enough water to run through the beginning or middle of July, while some will run through the middle or end of August, "then it's kind of questionable," Beck said.
Ditches run on a priority system, so water comes earlier and stops later for some ditches. PRID is negotiating with the tribe and other water owners to see if the district can lease some water, which might extend the irrigation season.
"Just pray for rain," he said. "We'll take whatever we can get." This weekend's rain brought an inch to Vallecito and almost nine-hundredths of an inch to rural Ignacio.
The U.S. Drought Monitor listed Southwest Colorado, as well as nearly the entire Four Corners, in an "exceptional drought," the most critical and intense drought category.