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Old 06-24-2012, 08:13 AM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,334,956 times
Reputation: 6937

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I just went outside to get the paper, and the air smelled smokier than it has since High Park started. Wow!
There is ash from the Waldo Canyon fire falling as far south as Fountain.

 
Old 06-24-2012, 10:06 AM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,552 posts, read 11,649,542 times
Reputation: 24228
Sunrise looking north from Delta County. The haze and smoke is so thick I can't see Grand Mesa or the West Elk range. Pray for rain, and lots of it.

 
Old 06-24-2012, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Southeastern Colorado
319 posts, read 620,573 times
Reputation: 439
Is it just me -- or has the High Park Fire been superlatively managed? Given the size and scope of the incident, the multiple, successive evacuations, the number of people and structures involved, etc., there appear to be no obvious blunders, blatant missteps, or serious lapses in communications.

Seems to be in stark contrast to the clownishness we often see in other realms of public service, where inept leadership is the rule and not the exception, territorial infighting wreaks havoc on command procedures, and professionalism is all but non-existent.

Momentarily leaving aside the larger question of forest (mis)management and the entire issue of whether residences should be protected -- and focusing instead on the actual response to this situation -- can those of you with greater knowledge of firefighting and incident command efforts throw in your two cents?

From the outside looking in, this experience appears destined to become a classic case study for wildland fire professionals for years to come. In my book, a lot of fine people doing their jobs exceedingly well under unfathomably stressful conditions.
 
Old 06-24-2012, 11:43 AM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 4,334,956 times
Reputation: 6937
Quote:
Originally Posted by bovinedivine View Post
Is it just me -- or has the High Park Fire been superlatively managed? Given the size and scope of the incident, the multiple, successive evacuations, the number of people and structures involved, etc., there appear to be no obvious blunders, blatant missteps, or serious lapses in communications.

Seems to be in stark contrast to the clownishness we often see in other realms of public service, where inept leadership is the rule and not the exception, territorial infighting wreaks havoc on command procedures, and professionalism is all but non-existent.

Momentarily leaving aside the larger question of forest (mis)management and the entire issue of whether residences should be protected -- and focusing instead on the actual response to this situation -- can those of you with greater knowledge of firefighting and incident command efforts throw in your two cents?

From the outside looking in, this experience appears destined to become a classic case study for wildland fire professionals for years to come. In my book, a lot of fine people doing their jobs exceedingly well under unfathomably stressful conditions.
The whole thing seems like a massive cluster****.

Maybe it's just me but I think they should shift their priority from protecting property to just knocking down the damn fire.

People have homeowners insurance for a reason.
 
Old 06-24-2012, 11:57 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,830 posts, read 37,506,287 times
Reputation: 20890
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
Paper? What's that? ...
paper is what you do for news when you get the Bluescreen of death, or are on pay-by-the-byte-dial-up Living in a National Scenic Area has significant barriers to 'connectivity'. (tho <20 miles to metro) Maybe if a BIG fire burnt down all these 300' tall trees
 
Old 06-24-2012, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,362,717 times
Reputation: 4132
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelaBeurman View Post
There is ash from the Waldo Canyon fire falling as far south as Fountain.
The smoke is very bad in Pueblo as well from the fire up there.
 
Old 06-24-2012, 01:02 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,840,919 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Eight CO fires & inadequate resources

Currently more than half of this nation's wildfire resources are deployed in Colorado, and that is insufficient.

For the Waldo Fire near Colorado Springs they have asked for Type I federal assistance (the highest priority), yet at the moment for this quickly spreading fire have but one helicopter. Four more are on order, with two air tankers expected to arrive tomorrow.

The apparently brief but devastating fire in Estes Park yesterday, with latest accounts having about 20 acres and 21 residences burned, was probably only contained as quickly due helicopters and an air tanker rapidly redeployed from the nearby High Park Fire.

The Treasure Fire in Summit County is of a lower priority, as currently not threatening residences; it has burned about 100 acres between Leadville and Copper Mountain. They only have one helicopter there.

I believe it is the Stateline Fire in southwest Colorado that has personnel from Alaska deployed. Due smoke, it closed US 550.

Any of these wildfires would have been best dealt with and extinguished when first ignited and small. Obviously by the size of the High Park Fire, or even a fraction of that, one is in real trouble, particularly in these conditions. The Treasure Fire near Leadville is a case in point, in still being relatively small and without necessary resources due other more (at present) serious wildfires. But of course a good portion of Summit County is tinder dry with vast swaths of dead trees due the mountain pine beetle.

It has been said, and true, that ideally fast response crews and aircraft would be strategically deployed across this state and the greater West, for any eventuality; and it is simply not possible, as the capability does not exist. So we face this, with massive evacuations, including apparently all of Manitou Springs, and "fire fighting" largely consists of protecting what residences they can, meanwhile praying for a shift in weather influenced by our rapidly changing climate.

Meanwhile, it snowed last night at Crater Lake National Park.
 
Old 06-24-2012, 01:04 PM
 
Location: IN
20,173 posts, read 34,515,073 times
Reputation: 12514
I have a strong interest in meteorology (hobbyist & studied it some in college). This current weather pattern looks so horrid for much of the West that it is boggling my mind. I wish you all the best of luck because this very long stretch of heat is a bad indicator of what is to come. The air aloft, even at high elevations, is extremely hot (582 mb). When this hot air aloft gets mixed down to the surface via strong winds it almost certainly means air temperatures at the surface of over 100F. This "new normal" is looking like an almost semi-permanent drought belt along the southern 1/3 of the country with intermittant periods of surplus soil moisture. Why? An overall increase in the average temperature yields a higher level of evapotranspiration of moisture from green plants and soils, drying them faster. Drier soils heat up faster and it quickly translates into a positive feedback loop.
Hope for soaking rains!!!!!
 
Old 06-24-2012, 01:17 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,113,571 times
Reputation: 9066
As far as the winter pattern last winter and this summer's weather pattern, 1977 was very close to this year in the southern Rockies, but there was not near the number of wildfires that year. Why? Well, the obvious answer is that there is 35 years more buildup of fuels in the forests this year compared with 1977. Also, 1977 did not come after nearly a decade of years where the majority were drier and warmer than normal. My personal hypothesis about this is that we are facing a dreadful combination of fuel buildup colliding with a multi-year drought pattern likely caused by a combination of natural climatic variation and man-caused climate change. That latter point remains controversial, but I am convinced that at least of part of what we are facing is a result of man-caused changes in the atmosphere. If my hypothesis is correct, then what we see this summer may be something of a "new normal" for Colorado, which bodes ill for continuing fire problems, and--more importantly--increasingly serious deficiencies in water supplies. Both, as I've posted before, could be real "game-changers" for Colorado.
 
Old 06-24-2012, 02:45 PM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,552 posts, read 11,649,542 times
Reputation: 24228
I was talking with a very old time Colorado forest ranger this morning. "This may be the year Colorado burns down" is what he said looking at the smoke filled sky. I said, the whole state? That's not possible...is it?

He didn't answer but just kept looking at the sky. It was spooky.
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