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Old 06-24-2012, 02:55 PM
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
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1977-1978 was the turning point in the typical cycles the USA goes through every 30-40 years, Colorado included. The previous cold/wet cycle lasted from the late 1930's to around 1977-1978 where the next hot/dry cycle began.

Back in the 1930's there were several years of very hot and dry weather which peaked quickly and then the next cycle began. I think overall in the next few years we will drift into cooler/wetter weather overall.

There is no "new normal". There was no "year zero" where the earth was perfectly calm with precisely set temperatures. These cycles have been going on forever and will continue to do so. As Colorado experienced in previous years with higher than average wet conditions, it is inevitable to have hotter drier conditions as well. Man made climate change is just another big ego baby boomer we are the only important generation of all time and nothing came before us, nothing will come after us hysteria that has nothing to do with actual historic record.

Colorado has trees that are 2400 years old. Many tree core samples have been done. Colorado floats between 30-40 year cycles along with larger several hundred year cycles. It's always gone on and will always go on, long after the boomers and their latest "man made" histrionics have left the earth. Fire existed back with the dinosaurs and it exists now.

Old 06-24-2012, 02:57 PM
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According to the Durango Herald the Bondad fire is at 80 acres. Bondad is a very small community just north of the Colorado/New Mexico border on hwy. 550. Two friends of mine live near the Sunny Acres Mobile Home Park, maybe two miles north of Bondad. Talked to one of them this morning and 550 was still closed. Several homes threatened but no evacuations to report.
Old 06-24-2012, 03:02 PM
Location: mancos
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The Weber Canyon fire by Mancos is getting bad.They pulled the air tankers to send them to higher priority fires, dont even see a helicoptor up there just smoke and flames. Hope the guys on the ground can get it slowed down and stay safe. We are all on edge here can see it all from my window.Many neighbors evacuated and hanging in town for now.
Old 06-24-2012, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
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.
It's not like anyone who is informed didn't know that was coming. I remember talking with my great grandfather back in the 1980's about his concerns they would never let forest fires burn and that eventually one day there would be a big one. 2002 wasn't great, but with all the pine beetle trees now it's a tinderbox.

Years ago if they had done controlled burns more aggressively and let fires burn elsewhere, the pine beetle epidemic would have never happened. All they needed to do was burn out some of the areas where it had kicked off. Instead they did nothing until it became uncontrolled and it was a free for all for the beetles. Pine beetle researchers found Colorado in the past every 500 years or so, would have significant devastating beetle outbreaks, followed by fire.

If man would not let nature run it's course with fire to regenerate the forest, nature said not a problem, I give you pine beetles instead and that should take care of it. And it did and will.

It's not going to make life easy for a lot of people this year, but then what in life is easy?
Old 06-24-2012, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Another fire burning on Bondad Hill along US550 near the Colorado/New Mexico border south of Durango. Lots of radio traffic going on that one.
i was up close with that one yesterday as we had our family reunion gathering up on the Mesa overlooking US550 five miles north of that fire. Fire trucks racing down 550 toward the blaze for a few hours. We were close enough that we could see it was burning against a cattle ranch irrigated field and couldn't get past all the green so it was burning north up the ridge of the river valley. At about 6PM, there was a huge gust of wind much like a storm front, suddenly it got dark, and the smoke blew in. Very strange feeling. Only good thing was that it blocked the sweltering sun for a while. In about an hour, it blew further up the Animas Valley and by the time we returned to our house in Vallecito at 11PM, there was smoke over the lake as well. Been here since thursday evening and every morning there is smoke over the lake. Our reunion host's son & wife live in Mancos and they were a nervous wreck. They headed back early and today have their car packed and ready. They haven't had a mandatory evac yet but it's probably coming.

And, on tuesday the wife & I will be headed up to Mancos (hopefully???) to visit our Timber Framer's facility as well as tour an "as built" version of a house plan we're considering building. We'll see what has happened by tuesday morning given the heat, dryness, embers, and wind. Who knows?
Old 06-24-2012, 03:47 PM
Location: Glendale Country Club
1,770 posts, read 2,505,835 times
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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.
bovinedivine...yes, I agree...the High Park Fire has been superlatively managed (that is a good choice of a "big word" to describe it I live in the High Park area and the smoke is hard to live with...we are no longer evacuated from the town of Bellvue, CO, which is a far north suburb of Fort Collins. We close our windows at night to keep out the smoke, even if it's not smoky when we go to bed.
Old 06-24-2012, 04:06 PM
Location: Glendale Country Club
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Woodland Heights fire in Estes Park, CO...this fire was also called the High Drive fire because that is where it originated, on High Drive, Estes Park. This is a picturesque area of old cabins and newer structures located in my former hometown. A snow bird friend's "cabin" survived on Bluebell Drive...it's a miracle! If you could see the map of this subdivision, you would understand why it's a miracle. They haven't determined the cause of this fire, but allegedly originated in a home....everything just exploded. There was a concern about it being so close to the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park/RMNP and the YMCA of the Rockies...off Moraine/Hwy 66/Hwy 36. This fire is 100% contained as far as I know today. They did have some help from some of the helicopters and slush planes from the High Park Fire. Without this help, this fire might have gotten out of hand quickly.
Old 06-24-2012, 04:07 PM
Location: Woodland Park, CO
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Picture of Garden of the Gods from last night:

Old 06-24-2012, 04:21 PM
Location: mancos
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well we got a couple of choppers back and the wind is blowing the fire east of us so we look safe for now.My friends to the east have my prayers and I hope they remain unscathed by this fire.It just hit a spot where black and orange can be seen in big plumes. gonna be a long afternoon for the fire fighters.
Old 06-24-2012, 05:28 PM
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As wanneroo pointed out, people who have lived in Colorado a long time (like me) who are familiar with Colorado forest ecology have seen this day coming for a long time. It was inevitable, given a century of fire suppression, that a savage drought would eventually combine with tinderbox forests to lead to what we see today. Unlike wanneroo, I don't dismiss man-caused climate change that may be contributing to the severity of this year's drought. What is certain, though, is that man-caused unhealthy forests caused by fire suppression--that fire suppression in the last 20-30 years or so often made necessary because of man-made structures being built in places that precluded proper forest management--are a big reason that the current fires are so large and dangerous. The sad irony is that the reason these fires are burning so furiously is because of those structures that firefighters are risking their lives to save--many of those structures built where they never should have been allowed in the first place. Just watch all the politicians and everybody else try to tap dance around that ugly truth.
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