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Old 06-20-2012, 10:56 AM
 
919 posts, read 985,181 times
Reputation: 1077

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
When people's precious recreation and trophy homes get burnt as a result, there will be no end of blaming and hate directed at the Forest Service people--when, in most cases, it is the people's own fault for building where they did. If there is any good news in this, it is that Mother Nature is taking care of the century of fuel buildup in a whole lot of places. In the long run, that is good news for the forests.
There will be that blame on the Forest Service, but there will also be a bit of silver lining (separate from the natural reduction in fuel buildup in the forests). The insurance actuaries are going to be adjusting the risk models for homes located in forested areas and we'll see a big uptick in insurance rates on those homes, especially ones that have no fire perimeter. The market will then more accurately reflect the true cost of living in the forested areas until some developer types get the bright idea that a publicly subsidized insurance mechanism should exist to allow people to exercise their fundamental right to live wherever they please regardless of risk.

 
Old 06-20-2012, 11:18 AM
 
16,509 posts, read 20,925,746 times
Reputation: 47893
The latest stats on the Ft. Collins fire according to USA Today:

10th day
55% containment
64,700 acres burned
189 homes burned
2000 plus homes threatened
1911 firefighters on the scene
17.2 million dollars spent so far
 
Old 06-20-2012, 12:20 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,409 posts, read 39,766,906 times
Reputation: 23442
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
... how 'bout what I said back in 2009, in light of what is going on right this very minute?

#50 in this thread: Millions of dead trees in the Colorado Mountains

No one should be shocked or surprised about what is happening this summer. ....
Quote:
Sometimes I hate being right . . .
Let's just HOPE the lightning strikes and spot fires avoid the many High Risk, High Value sites such as Vail, Aspen, Grand Lake ... The whole region is at very high risk to inferno beyond control. AND it is only June.....

It could get really ugly if the rich absentee homeowners / investors and economic drivers (ski / resort areas) start dictating the use of very limited fire fighting resources.

It really is quite frightening to see the power of nature vs. our gallant but often feeble response.

Tinder-box conditions have existed for over 30 yrs in much of Colo. (I was gleaning 'beetle kill' in the early 1980's). Ever-brown trees don't just 'go away' very quickly (unless by fire). Sorry to hear about the Aspen as well. Warm winter climate is wreaking havoc in many regions. We had ~14" rain / month this winter (in PNW), but no really cold weather to kill off the pests, so bugs of all kinds are alive and well (and very numerous).
 
Old 06-20-2012, 10:44 PM
 
13,297 posts, read 25,484,841 times
Reputation: 20410
If there's going to be a megafire, wouldn't it be better to get it over with (get rid of all that fuel) instead of watching with dread until it comes?
 
Old 06-21-2012, 09:35 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,797,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
If there's going to be a megafire, wouldn't it be better to get it over with (get rid of all that fuel) instead of watching with dread until it comes?
In many cases, that is probably true. Privately, a lot of Forest Service forest management people will say that fires that would clean out a lot of the overgrown understory and dead trees would be beneficial. Unfortunately, so many private structures are located in or near the forests that letting such "cleansing" fires burn are politically impossible. Make no mistake, like so much of everything else in the Rocky Mountain West, the private land developers and their lackeys are dictating a lot of the Forest Service's mandates these days. That includes a fire policy that now is, in practice, geared almost entirely toward private structure protection, rather than toward good forest management. The ironic result is a sort of "feedback" mechanism. Increased fire suppression to protect structures encourages more general fuel buildup and tree-crowding that increases the fire danger more, which leads to more fire suppression (and huge costs when a fire does start) and bigger, harder to control, and more environmentally destructive fires when they do occur. It's a vicious circle that likely won't be broken until the "megafires" you describe finally are large enough to do what they are going to do, no matter what we think about it. The High Park fire is close to that kind, but probably not the defining "megafire" only because of the area in which it is located (the western area of it is in a lot of dead lodgepole, but the east end is not). I suspect the "defining" megafire, at least in Colorado, whenever it finally occurs, will be in the gigantic stands of dead and dying lodgepole in Grand and/or Summit Counties. In addition to potentially roasting a lot of man-made crap, it would also have the potential to cripple, for a few years, a lot of the watershed upon which a good chunk of the Front Range relies for water. That might "bring home" to a lot of metro Coloradans the fact that they are dependent on the ecology and environment of the hinterlands that surround them.
 
Old 06-21-2012, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,062 posts, read 12,417,505 times
Reputation: 26011
I didn't know about this one:

The Little Sand Fire, located 13 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, was started by lightning on May 13th, on lands managed by the San Juan National Forest. The fire is in rugged and inaccessible terrain, north of the Piedra River, and is currently estimated at 15,987 acres.

Here's a great page for updates on all wildfires -

InciWeb the Incident Information System: Current Incidents
 
Old 06-21-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Colorado Plateau
1,134 posts, read 3,339,598 times
Reputation: 1237
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
I didn't know about this one:

The Little Sand Fire, located 13 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, was started by lightning on May 13th, on lands managed by the San Juan National Forest. The fire is in rugged and inaccessible terrain, north of the Piedra River, and is currently estimated at 15,987 acres.

Here's a great page for updates on all wildfires -

InciWeb the Incident Information System: Current Incidents
I was just outside and saw an air tanker (slurry bomber) taking off from the GJ airport, heading south. I was wondering if it was heading to this fire.
 
Old 06-21-2012, 02:16 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,797,284 times
Reputation: 9132
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
I didn't know about this one:

The Little Sand Fire, located 13 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, was started by lightning on May 13th, on lands managed by the San Juan National Forest. The fire is in rugged and inaccessible terrain, north of the Piedra River, and is currently estimated at 15,987 acres.

Here's a great page for updates on all wildfires -

InciWeb the Incident Information System: Current Incidents
I've personally observed this fire several times in the last month. The Forest Service is pretty much letting this one burn. It's not torching and crowning a lot at this point, and is doing just what a good fire should--burning a lot of overgrown understory. Some knowledgeable people I talked to said that this fire will probably burn until either the Southwest Monsoon puts it out (if we get one strong enough) or when the snow flies, whichever comes first. If we have to have fires, this is the preferable kind to have.
 
Old 06-21-2012, 03:38 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,539,435 times
Reputation: 7604
I was looking at the long range accuweather map for next week, mainly because we've had some blazing hot weather and humidity back east and it appears next week the hot air shifts west with unseasonably cool weather here in the east. I expect the fire situation is going to worsen and I think it's going to be a long deal into fall.

I was thinking about coming out to Colorado in a week or so, but I'm not sure with the fire situation.
 
Old 06-21-2012, 03:43 PM
 
981 posts, read 1,971,584 times
Reputation: 1398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradotears View Post
I'm so sad to see Colorado's mountains and wilderness being destroyed by real estate development.

I first hiked in Colorado in 1973. Last month I returned after being gone 18 years. The wilderness area I loved to hike is now guarded by large, expensive houses standing on private property bordering the park. Some of these palaces sit vacant most of the year. The owners of these mansions block efforts to get rid of the pine beetles killing the lodgepole pines--the wealthy, elite millionaires lobby to prevent fires being allowed to burn (and kill the beetles), because the fires might threaten their estates and privileged view of the wilderness.

A huge fire is now burning--called the High Park Fire. The fire is predicted to burn for months, moving west, away from the mccmansions to the east. The reason it will burn so long is because of the millions of dead trees to the west--all victims of the pine beetle. Fires keep the pine beetle population from exploding. The elites want their view of the forests preserved, so they resist the controlled burning of forests to rid them of pine beetles. The result--massive, gargantuan fires that sterilize the soil so nothing will grow.

So sad. Thoughts?

Article re: forests in danger.
Western wildfires fuel urgency for forest restoration
No mention of AGW causing increased heat and drying-effects? Let's look at the full picture of human impact here.
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