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Old 06-12-2012, 01:54 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,338,313 times
Reputation: 6937

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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 figure that if people insist on building in fire prone areas, they do so at their own risk. If they can afford to build there, they can afford the insurance premiums to cover their losses.

If they refuse to evacuate, it shouldn't be the responsibility of the firefighters to try and save their butts.

The sole purpose of the firefighters should be to knock down these fires.

Of course it would have helped greatly had they tried to put it out by air when it first started and was reported.

 
Old 06-12-2012, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
1,993 posts, read 4,189,963 times
Reputation: 2767
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelaBeurman View Post
Of course it would have helped greatly had they tried to put it out by air when it first started and was reported.
There was air support Saturday morning. I know people who live on the Larimer County side of Windsor (with a Fort Collins zip code), up on a ridge with great mountain views of that area. They watched the helicopters with buckets coming and going from Horsetooth Reservoir on Saturday. I don't know how quickly the air tankers arrived, but I do know that the Forest Service can't just snap their fingers and have them here when they are in use fighting fires in other states. Wyoming diverted personnel and aircraft from two fires to help as soon as they could.

However...
One of the region's most potent aerial firefighting forces — two Wyoming Air National Guard C-130s fitted to drop slurry — sat on a runway in Cheyenne, 50 miles north of the Colorado fire. The reason: The Forest Service, by law, cannot call for military resources until it deems that its fleet is fully busy. It also takes 36 hours to mobilize the crews and planes.
(excerpt from this article
The Associated Press: Wildfires in Colo., NM burn out of control)

Last edited by Neditate; 06-12-2012 at 02:38 PM..
 
Old 06-12-2012, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,043 posts, read 98,964,874 times
Reputation: 31537
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelaBeurman View Post
I figure that if people insist on building in fire prone areas, they do so at their own risk. If they can afford to build there, they can afford the insurance premiums to cover their losses.

If they refuse to evacuate, it shouldn't be the responsibility of the firefighters to try and save their butts.

The sole purpose of the firefighters should be to knock down these fires.

Of course it would have helped greatly had they tried to put it out by air when it first started and was reported.
Just who decides if an area is "fire-prone". I remember with the Hayman fire, there was concern that the fire might reach metro Denver. Every place on earth has its own natural disasters.

It is also the firefighters' job to help people caught up in the fire.

I do agree that people should evacuate when instructed to do so, but I'm not so hardened that I think people should be allowed to die b/c they foolishly did not follow the recommendations.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,210,790 times
Reputation: 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Just who decides if an area is "fire-prone". I remember with the Hayman fire, there was concern that the fire might reach metro Denver. Every place on earth has its own natural disasters.

It is also the firefighters' job to help people caught up in the fire.

I do agree that people should evacuate when instructed to do so, but I'm not so hardened that I think people should be allowed to die b/c they foolishly did not follow the recommendations.
It might be the municipal or volunteer fire fighters jobs, but it most certainly is not the job of the US Forest Service fire personal. They are not trained at all in structure fire situations, nor are they trained in evacuation procedures.

An area is determined fire prone if you live in the "red" zone, which is the area where fuels and conditions are right for fires. Yes, the metro area might be affected, but there is a determination made for areas where life and property are considered a much greater risk for damage and life lost. If you live in these areas and choose not to evacuate, why is it up to other people to get their butt in to save you and risk more lives because of someone's stupidity?
 
Old 06-12-2012, 02:57 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,338,313 times
Reputation: 6937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neditate View Post
There was air support Saturday morning. I know people who live on the Larimer County side of Windsor (with a Fort Collins zip code), up on a ridge with great mountain views of that area. They watched the helicopters with buckets coming and going from Horsetooth Reservoir on Saturday. I don't know how quickly the air tankers arrived, but I do know that the Forest Service can't just snap their fingers and have them here when they are in use fighting fires in other states. Wyoming diverted personnel and aircraft from two fires to help as soon as they could.

However...
One of the region's most potent aerial firefighting forces — two Wyoming Air National Guard C-130s fitted to drop slurry — sat on a runway in Cheyenne, 50 miles north of the Colorado fire. The reason: The Forest Service, by law, cannot call for military resources until it deems that its fleet is fully busy. It also takes 36 hours to mobilize the crews and planes.
(excerpt from this article
The Associated Press: Wildfires in Colo., NM burn out of control)
I'm going on our local news reports. They stated that the fire had been reported hours before anyone arrived to start putting it out. They made no mention that helo's were already in use.

I stand corrected and updated.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,043 posts, read 98,964,874 times
Reputation: 31537
Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
It might be the municipal or volunteer fire fighters jobs, but it most certainly is not the job of the US Forest Service fire personal. They are not trained at all in structure fire situations, nor are they trained in evacuation procedures.

An area is determined fire prone if you live in the "red" zone, which is the area where fuels and conditions are right for fires. Yes, the metro area might be affected, but there is a determination made for areas where life and property are considered a much greater risk for damage and life lost. If you live in these areas and choose not to evacuate, why is it up to other people to get their butt in to save you and risk more lives because of someone's stupidity?
Don't those "red" zones change constantly?

It's hard to explain in a few words on CD what I meant by not being so hardened as to let people die. Certainly, I don't think any rescue operator should risk his or her life, but I do think resucers should do what they can to the extent possible. I thought that would be understood. It's the same with any rescue operation, be it a mine disaster or whatever.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 03:09 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,338,313 times
Reputation: 6937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Just who decides if an area is "fire-prone". I remember with the Hayman fire, there was concern that the fire might reach metro Denver. Every place on earth has its own natural disasters.

It is also the firefighters' job to help people caught up in the fire.

I do agree that people should evacuate when instructed to do so, but I'm not so hardened that I think people should be allowed to die b/c they foolishly did not follow the recommendations.
Anyone with a brain should be able to look out their window and determine if their property is in a high fire risk area. A forested area with a great deal of dead vegetation is a pretty good clue.

And no, I don't think it's the job of these firefighters to risk their lives trying to save people who REFUSE to evacuate. When you're told to go, you go. I also don't think it's their job to defend property, they have enough to do already.

I have the utmost respect for these brave men and women who risk their lives to put out these fires, they shouldn't have to put up with stupidity while they're doing their jobs.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,210,790 times
Reputation: 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelaBeurman View Post
I'm going on our local news reports. They stated that the fire had been reported hours before anyone arrived to start putting it out. They made no mention that helo's were already in use.

I stand corrected and updated.
Again, I think the expectation that someone is on the fire right away comes from our experience with structure fires. Forest fires are very different and often difficult to access. Getting air support in right away takes time. Even when they are moving at their fastest, it still takes resources to get the helicopters and tankers in, which takes time. A quick air response to a fire usually means about an hour or so. While that seems like a long time, especially in hindsight, that's not the case. The Forest Service doesn't have these resources just sitting around all over the place. Like others have stated, they have to be diverted from elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Don't those "red" zones change constantly?

It's hard to explain in a few words on CD what I meant by not being so hardened as to let people die. Certainly, I don't think any rescue operator should risk his or her life, but I do think resucers should do what they can to the extent possible. I thought that would be understood. It's the same with any rescue operation, be it a mine disaster or whatever.
I'm not sure about the red zones changing. I imagine they do to the extent that when land is developed that was previously uninhabited, they might add that to the zone.

I can see what you mean. I just wanted to be clear that USFS personal are not trained in structure fires or rescue. Many people who don't understand forest firefighting do not get this. They think all firefighting is the same. I don't believe we should just allow people to die either, but an assessment of risk has to be made.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,174 posts, read 9,477,271 times
Reputation: 8872
Southeast winds yesterday and today have been a bit helpful because they're causing some of the fire to burn back on itself, but that same wind has also caused the NE flank of the fire to push toward Bonner Peak and Livermore.

Some of the evacuees on the southern flank of the fire have been allowed to return home, but evacuation notices have gone out for Pingree Park on the western edge.

Without a wind shift, there's a growing chance that Red Feather could be in the bullseye. Pre-evacuation notices have gone out for Glacier View.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,043 posts, read 98,964,874 times
Reputation: 31537
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelaBeurman View Post
Anyone with a brain should be able to look out their window and determine if their property is in a high fire risk area. A forested area with a great deal of dead vegetation is a pretty good clue.

And no, I don't think it's the job of these firefighters to risk their lives trying to save people who REFUSE to evacuate. When you're told to go, you go. I also don't think it's their job to defend property, they have enough to do already.

I have the utmost respect for these brave men and women who risk their lives to put out these fires, they shouldn't have to put up with stupidity while they're doing their jobs.
As I already said, I do not think the firefighters should risk their own lives. That should go w/o saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
Again, I think the expectation that someone is on the fire right away comes from our experience with structure fires. Forest fires are very different and often difficult to access. Getting air support in right away takes time. Even when they are moving at their fastest, it still takes resources to get the helicopters and tankers in, which takes time. A quick air response to a fire usually means about an hour or so. While that seems like a long time, especially in hindsight, that's not the case. The Forest Service doesn't have these resources just sitting around all over the place. Like others have stated, they have to be diverted from elsewhere.



I'm not sure about the red zones changing. I imagine they do to the extent that when land is developed that was previously uninhabited, they might add that to the zone.

I can see what you mean. I just wanted to be clear that USFS personal are not trained in structure fires or rescue. Many people who don't understand forest firefighting do not get this. They think all firefighting is the same. I don't believe we should just allow people to die either, but an assessment of risk has to be made.
I hear what you're saying.
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