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Old 03-31-2012, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
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Fire bans also in effect for Jefferson, Eagle, Clear Creek and Douglas counties.
Eagle, Douglas counties issue fire bans | 9news.com
US Forest Service orders federal burn ban in Colorado | 9news.com

 
Old 04-06-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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A red flag fire warning is in effect for Mesa County today. The last few days we've had some calm mornings that all of a sudden 30 M.P.H. winds come up in no time. A couple fires yesterday in outlying areas, including one on B 1/2 road that almost got to two houses.
 
Old 04-06-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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Here we go again, this time north of Deckers.
 
Old 04-10-2012, 12:30 PM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,638 posts, read 11,726,719 times
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A DAY OF NEAR RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED ON WEDNESDAY... COINCIDING WITH LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND GUSTY WINDS TO 35 MPH. THIS PATTERN SETS THE STAGE FOR DANGEROUS FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON...

Apparently in Delta County when there's a red flag fire warning and howling winds, that's when everyone burns their ditches and fields. Really stupid and I'm growing tired of weeks of smoke filled air.
 
Old 04-10-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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If the fire danger becomes severe enough, the Forest Service has the authority to ban access to the Forest altogether. This was done in 2002 in some of the National Forests in New Mexico when the fire danger became too extreme. No one should dismiss the possibility of extreme fire danger occurring in Colorado this summer. Fire danger in southern Colorado is already at levels that would be consistent with mid-May to mid-June--up to two months ahead of normal. So far, this spring has been far drier than normal--following a very dry winter in many areas of Colorado. Southern Colorado is in especially poor shape--southern Colorado is normally very dry in late May through early July, so the lack of spring moisture will cause extreme fire danger to develop there very quickly. A normal or active Southwest Monsoon can mitigate the fire danger there starting in around mid-July, but that will do little for streamflows. As for the northern half of Colorado, typically May and June are fairly wet in many areas, with a pronounced drying trend in July-September. If precipitation remains below normal there for the remainder of the spring, fire danger could be severe through the whole summer.

All of this is of practical concern for people looking to recreate in Colorado this summer, but there is also the aesthetic matter. Put simply, are people willing to spend their hard-earned and scarce money to visit Colorado this summer, when much of the state may be abnormally brown for summer (even in the high country), and the possibility of low air quality and diminished views because of smoke from fires? I would sure be thinking about that. By the way, the fires in the Southwest in 2002 in Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Colorado put up enough smoke to impair visibility and cause air quality problems as far away as Missouri. I know--I was in Kansas City that June and one could smell and see the smoke from the Southwest fires even there.

This, from the latest US Seasonal Drought Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center ( http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/product...l_drought.html )

Quote:
Farther east and south, from central California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest through southern sections of the Plains, dry conditions are favored in various (but in all cases large) parts of the region for time periods ranging from the next 5 days through the 3-month outlook valid April – June 2012, keeping drought intact with some expansion expected in areas of the central Rockies and southwestern Arizona not currently experiencing drought.
Drought of some magnitude is now in place all across Colorado:

From the US Drought Monitor from USDA



With this from the narrative:

Quote:
The West: The snow totals continue to be below normal for much of the western United States, and coupled with temperatures well above normal, the region is seeing snowpack being reduced much earlier than normal. . . For Colorado and Utah, the conditions were unusual, with the lack of snowfall in the upper elevations and the early melt. In response, D2 was expanded in northwest Colorado and D1 was also expanded in western Colorado and into eastern Utah.
 
Old 04-11-2012, 10:46 AM
 
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Sort of a good news/bad news situation for Mesa County.

A sizable front is coming through this afternoon which tomorrow will cool temperatures down 15 degrees, maybe more. Chance of precipitation will be 30% through Monday.

The flip side to that is the 30 to 35 m.p.h. winds with gusts up to 50 m.p.h. that come with it. High temperature today will be in the low 80's.

Hopefully noone will be doing any burning today and that includes Gunnison, where 3 small fires popped up the other day.
 
Old 04-11-2012, 10:56 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,186,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
A DAY OF NEAR RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED ON WEDNESDAY... COINCIDING WITH LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND GUSTY WINDS TO 35 MPH. THIS PATTERN SETS THE STAGE FOR DANGEROUS FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON...

Apparently in Delta County when there's a red flag fire warning and howling winds, that's when everyone burns their ditches and fields. Really stupid and I'm growing tired of weeks of smoke filled air.
Unfortunately, agricultural burning tends to increase in dry years. In dry years, it is more necessary than ever to rid ditch banks and fields of phreatophytes (water-loving plants) that sop up irrigation water meant to irrigate crops. Burning is the cost-effective method to accomplish this--preferable to using chemical agents to kill the plants. Having the smoke in the air is actually a result of burning occurring when the winds are NOT severe--the lack of wind allows an air inversion to form and trap pollutants on the valley floor. As Jim has noted, though, there are always a few people who think they can safely burn under windy conditions--with an controlled burn becoming uncontrolled as a result. People I know on local volunteer fire departments are already sick of being run ragged trying to put out such fires.

I must re-emphasize how explosively dangerous fire conditions are becoming in Colorado this spring. There are fires starting in places that normally still have snowcover at this time of year. Not only is there no snowcover, but the ground is so dessicated from wind and lack of moisture that the most minor spark can ignite a fire. An area with which I'm quite familiar got nearly a foot of snow a couple of weeks ago. With the high winds, warm temperatures, lack of humidity, and low soil moisture content, the snow disappeared in about 24 hours and the ground was bone-dry again within 3 or 4 days.

I believe that we are already seeing conditions as explosive as 2002, probably even worse. If things continue, this year could be similar to 1879, when hundreds of thousands of acres in western and southern Colorado burned--all the way from valley floors to over 10,000 feet in elevation. Were such fires similar to the 1879 outbreak to start this year, there are not enough fire-fighting resources on Earth to do anything more than try to get people out of the way. By the way, unlike areas of California and the other Pacific Coast states where fires tend to occur more frequently, Colorado's natural fire cycle can often run a century or more between major fires in any given area. It has been that long since a major fire in many areas of Colorado. We're due.
 
Old 04-11-2012, 06:45 PM
 
16,215 posts, read 20,257,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post

Hopefully noone will be doing any burning today
I knew I spoke out of turn. News 11 Grand Junction reports an uncontrolled burn near Mack (O Road) near 10 Road. Only 5 acres right now, but included was a bunch of power poles and lots of railroad ties as it jumped the railroad tracks.

Fire crews are at there now and so is Mesa County Sheriffs Dept. with help on traffic as the smoke is heavy there near Hwy. 6 (I can see it where I live.)

The sheriffs dept told News 11 "we'll be sending the landowner a bill for services rendered."

The landowner stated he wasn't aware there were red flag warnings up. Duh. The wind has been blowing good since noon.

JUST IN!!! News reports at G Road and 26 road. Structure Fire
 
Old 04-11-2012, 06:57 PM
 
20,379 posts, read 37,943,998 times
Reputation: 18194
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
I knew I spoke out of turn. News 11 Grand Junction reports an uncontrolled burn near Mack (O Road) near 10 Road. Only 5 acres right now, but included was a bunch of power poles and lots of railroad ties as it jumped the railroad tracks.

Fire crews are at there now and so is Mesa County Sheriffs Dept. with help on traffic as the smoke is heavy there near Hwy. 6 (I can see it where I live.)

The sheriffs dept told News 11 "we'll be sending the landowner a bill for services rendered."

The landowner stated he wasn't aware there were red flag warnings up. Duh. The wind has been blowing good since noon.

JUST IN!!! News reports at G Road and 26 road. Structure Fire
They're reporting the Mack-O Road fire as under control now....
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:15 PM
 
16,215 posts, read 20,257,944 times
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Whew, nasty winds from 35 to 40 m.p.h., with gusts to 60. Several downed power lines, a FedEx tractor trailer running duals with the back trailer laying on its side. They have westbound I-70 shut down as they're running a crane out there to get the trailer upright. Location is less than a mile from the truck scales. (port of entry)

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 04-11-2012 at 11:23 PM..
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