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Old 06-11-2012, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 580,478 times
Reputation: 434

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Here's the InciWeb report on the latest:

InciWeb the Incident Information System: High Park Fire

 
Old 06-11-2012, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
5,386 posts, read 8,168,544 times
Reputation: 7077
The fire has also jumped the Poudre River and Highway 14 near Poudre Park. This thing may burn straight through Bellvue although at that point it'll largely be a grass/rangeland fire.
 
Old 06-11-2012, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 580,478 times
Reputation: 434
Default High Park Fire Now At 41,140 Acres, One Confirmed Death



Colorado wildfire: One dead in 41,000-acre High Park fire - The Denver Post
 
Old 06-11-2012, 10:55 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,029,780 times
Reputation: 6895
Last I heard, there was only 400 firefighters on this thing. WTF?
 
Old 06-12-2012, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 580,478 times
Reputation: 434
Unfortunately, there is not an endless supply of trained and available wildland firefighters. With a number of fires in the Western US, resources are stretched thin. This article speaks a bit to additional personnel coming in -- but also to the challenges of allocating available firefighting resources during peak fire season.

Colorado wildfire: High Park Fire near Fort Collins now 43,433 acres, more than 100 homes destroyed, 1 dead | 9news.com
 
Old 06-12-2012, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
1,932 posts, read 3,890,775 times
Reputation: 2651
Quote:
Originally Posted by bovinedivine View Post
Unfortunately, there is not an endless supply of trained and available wildland firefighters. With a number of fires in the Western US, resources are stretched thin.
Exactly! I'd rep you again if I could.
The article you linked says there are 500-600 firefighters on this fire.
There are a dozen fires raging right now in this part of the country. There are ONLY 9 air tankers available for air support. (Sadly they lost one last week when it crashed in Utah.) I think I read that 5 tankers are in Colorado now.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 08:58 AM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,029,780 times
Reputation: 6895
Quote:
Originally Posted by bovinedivine View Post
Unfortunately, there is not an endless supply of trained and available wildland firefighters. With a number of fires in the Western US, resources are stretched thin. This article speaks a bit to additional personnel coming in -- but also to the challenges of allocating available firefighting resources during peak fire season.

Colorado wildfire: High Park Fire near Fort Collins now 43,433 acres, more than 100 homes destroyed, 1 dead | 9news.com
Thanks for the link.

I understand what is involved here. Not only do I live here, I was in the fire dept when I was younger.

What gets me is why, when this happens every freaking year, we still have such a severe shortage of trained firefighters.

i'm pretty sure that we could find the money somewhere to train additional firefighters. Personally, I wouldn't object to a tax increase specifically for that purpose.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 10:00 AM
 
8,318 posts, read 23,785,472 times
Reputation: 8955
Listen to the radio feed for Fort Collins Fire/EMS and you will hear the truth: A large number of the firefighters engaged in this battle are volunteer firefighters from the local rural fire departments. Many are working 24 hours shifts or more out in the field. I have stated on numerous occasions that protecting private structures on private property should be the responsibility of the local fire departments and not the US Forest Service. Unfortunately, those local departments are simply ill-funded, often inadequately trained, and usually under-equipped to handle that task--and the cowardice of local land planning officials and county commissioners in Colorado, who refuse to limit building in fire-prone areas, makes their job nearly impossible and leads to these kinds of catastrophes. I don't blame those courageous local firefighters one bit for this--they are being tasked to defend the indefensible with woefully inadequate resources. The very likely and tragic result is that some of those courageous folks may wind up getting maimed or killed in this fight.

As for the US Forest Service, it simply does not have the resources to fight a multi-front war against large mega-fires--in part because its now-tacit policy of attempting to protect private structures built in stupid places is a ridiculously expensive and inefficient endeavor that cripples its mission of actually managing the forests in a manner to prevent the fuel buildups that make mega-fires inevitable. If I owned a home in a Colorado forest these days, I would be doing everything I could to make defensible space around it, make real nice with the local fire department, pray for rain, and be ready to kiss that house goodbye if a big fire gets started. That is the point that things have reached in the Colorado forests.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 7,723,886 times
Reputation: 3301
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Listen to the radio feed for Fort Collins Fire/EMS and you will hear the truth: A large number of the firefighters engaged in this battle are volunteer firefighters from the local rural fire departments. Many are working 24 hours shifts or more out in the field. I have stated on numerous occasions that protecting private structures on private property should be the responsibility of the local fire departments and not the US Forest Service. Unfortunately, those local departments are simply ill-funded, often inadequately trained, and usually under-equipped to handle that task--and the cowardice of local land planning officials and county commissioners in Colorado, who refuse to limit building in fire-prone areas, makes their job nearly impossible and leads to these kinds of catastrophes. I don't blame those courageous local firefighters one bit for this--they are being tasked to defend the indefensible with woefully inadequate resources. The very likely and tragic result is that some of those courageous folks may wind up getting maimed or killed in this fight.

As for the US Forest Service, it simply does not have the resources to fight a multi-front war against large mega-fires--in part because its now-tacit policy of attempting to protect private structures built in stupid places is a ridiculously expensive and inefficient endeavor that cripples its mission of actually managing the forests in a manner to prevent the fuel buildups that make mega-fires inevitable. If I owned a home in a Colorado forest these days, I would be doing everything I could to make defensible space around it, make real nice with the local fire department, pray for rain, and be ready to kiss that house goodbye if a big fire gets started. That is the point that things have reached in the Colorado forests.
I couldn't agree with you more, Jazzlover. As someone who used to fight those fires, the resources are just not there. Many of the USFS employees are trained in wildland firefighting, but even with that, there are just not enough of them to do the job when the fires are like this. Not only that, once the fire reaches the level it has here, it becomes increasingly hard and dangerous to provide ground support measures. There are many factors that come into play when deciding the number of personal on a fire. While the public may think 400, 500 or 600 is not enough for a fire this size, you have to take into account safety as the number one priority. My understanding (and knowledge of this area of Colorado) is that the fire, especially where it's advancing, is in some steep terrain. You can't just send firefighters in there.

I am saddened to see this situation happening in Colorado this year. However, it doesn't surprise me. When I was at Colorado State back in the mid to late 90s working on my Forestry degree, we talked about this exact situation happening in Colorado in our lifetime. Between the beetle kill, under managed forests, and so many homes being built in the fire zone, it was just a matter of time. I sure hope they can get the upper hand on this fire soon, but I don't want firefighters lives put at risk to do so.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 12:23 PM
 
11,679 posts, read 22,331,829 times
Reputation: 14897
I certainly hope no one's life is on the line (or lost) to protect property. This year is shaping up to be the prelude to true disaster, and property is gonna have to go, period.
Is it similar to the "lava zones" in Hawaii? Insurance rates the location of a building and the chances of it getting destroyed. I hope it would also include a one-time payment for the destruction and no coverage for any rebuilding.
I looked at my former property up above Ridgway (Elk Meadows) and saw a firetrap. A single gravel county road up to the little subdivision, steep hills up, one road into and around the houses, and trees/brush everywhere, along with some beetle kills. It wouldn't be a question of saving property, but of getting outta Dodge in case of a fire coming up the hills.
I cancelled my riding trip to a guest ranch at Vallecito Lake this year (financial issue from and injury, and then family illness) but I did ride in the area one day years ago, and the 2005 (?) "Durango" fire was evident for miles and mountains around. I thought of the guest ranch- at the end of a two-lane road. Wondered if they all just get in the lake in case of a fire. Kept my deposit for next June, so shall see.
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