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Old 09-12-2012, 01:49 PM
 
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I do not see any snow from this recent storm, although conjecture yesterday was that the highest elevations of the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains might receive some. Nevertheless, the precipitation most welcome, with some hope Colorado may be spared any more wildfires this season.

Although a distinct reminder in air quality through most of August along the Front Range that our greater West is still at risk of wildfires. More than might be suspected, with among others wildfires presently in Wyoming, Montana and Oregon. A wildfire begun Sunday in the Three Sisters Wilderness area near the small recreation-oriented town of Sisters, OR may necessitate the evacuation of some residents near it; already for six hours on Tuesday smoke was thick enough to be hazardous, and due temperature inversion expected at some measure to be a factor until possibly Saturday. [1]

Fortunately the worst suffered here in result at times less than normally expected good air quality. But in testament that suffered in Utah, not that long ago in Colorado, and presently elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain West—we are not exactly out of the woods.
1) 'Dry Northwest burns as fire season in West extends,' Summit Daily
Dry Northwest burns as fire season in West extends | SummitDaily.com

 
Old 10-01-2012, 10:18 PM
 
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Well, we're still not through with fires!

KKCO News11 in Grand Junction has reported that a fire northwest of Glenwood Springs and southeast of Meeker has increased in size the last few days. It's been named the Middle Elk Fire and it's near Hiner spring. Reports are it was started by a campfire that was not properly put out. Here's the stats:

250 acres burned
30% containment
 
Old 10-02-2012, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Fire Weather Watch Issued for Wednesday Afternoon

DRY, WARM AND WINDY CONDITIONS WILL BE SETTING UP ON
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON OVER NORTHERN PORTIONS OF WESTERN COLORADO
AND EASTERN UTAH AHEAD OF THE NEXT APPROACHING SYSTEM AND AN
ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT
 
Old 10-03-2012, 05:37 PM
 
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And we've got a new one going here! KKCO News 11 has reported a fire a few miles north of Rifle, 60 miles east of Grand Junction. It's on state highway 13. Eyewitness reports have this fire being started shortly after noon and right now is exceeding 100 acres. Like Cosmic has posted earlier, a "red flag" warning was forecast for this afternoon. Over at my house the wind is around 20 m.p.h., but DeBeque canyon and east of there is where its really howling. CSP for a short time shut down highway 13 but according to the news report it is now re-opened. Some buildings and a huge radio transmitter are being threatened.
 
Old 10-06-2012, 12:35 PM
 
Location: IN
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Good news! I see a potential change in the overall pattern in about a week and half with a gradual shift to more storminess in parts of the West along with a trough setting up. Until then expect more of the same unfortunately.
 
Old 10-09-2012, 05:58 PM
 
Location: CO
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Fire seasons's not over yet. Today, October 9, 2012:

Fire in Cub Lake Area of Rocky Mountain National Park
Quote:
A fire has been reported near the Cub Lake Area of Rocky Mountain National Park. Evacuations have been made at the Moraine Park Campground and on trails near area.

A pre-evacuation notice has been issued for the YMCA of the Rockies.

Bear Lake road has been closed at the intersection of Hwy 36.

Fire is estimated between 75 – 100 acres.
 
Old 10-09-2012, 10:44 PM
 
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Wink RMNP fire

The Fern Lake Trailhead will take one up along the Big Thompson River, not towards Cub Lake, which is in a different drainage to the south; there is a high mountain ridge between the two.

Nevertheless, quite troubling, particularly this time of year. Not that this would have brought all back in balance, but there have been a few recent heavy rains, and even snow in the area (being of course spotty in geographic coverage) which at least in some areas have definitely damped the ground.

With no known lightening, etc., the cause of this would seem to be mankind. I will note that at times one can find, well out on these trails, cigarette butts discarded.

Very unfortunate.
 
Old 10-11-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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Wink RMNP wildfire update

The sky above Estes Park was a study in contrasts yesterday. In certain directions it was perfectly blue, but a few white clouds drifting about. To the west, towards the main entrance of RMNP, a decided plume of dark grey smoke rising up, and then dispersing to the west across town. From a distance all the air in that valley seemed distinctly hazy.

Today, all seems much improved. No visible smoke, and if somewhat cloudy, the air quality seems near normal—meaning quite good.

Yet in a staging area north of town they have a landing and fueling area for a large helicopter apparently used in fighting this fire. One might think it now out, or nearly so, although news on the radio reports it is still burning in rugged wilderness not easily approached, having currently burned 680 acres, or about double the report yesterday.

The weather forecast is for a slight chance of thunderstorms tomorrow, with perhaps the best odds on Saturday, at 50%, for showers. Beyond that, for the next week and more, nothing much that may help beyond some clouds, with moderate temperatures, highs in the low 60's.
 
Old 10-11-2012, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
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I live about an hour south of RMNP and we had smoke haze here all day.

The fire is nowhere near "out". Updates from today: InciWeb the Incident Information System: Fern Lake Fire
Current Park Fires - Rocky Mountain National Park
STATUS OF FERN LAKE FIRE - 2:00 p.m., October 11, 2012
A wildfire located west of the Fern Lake Trailhead on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park has grown to 660 acres according to fire officials and remains uncontained as of noon today.

Hopefully the change in weather will be a big help.
 
Old 10-11-2012, 09:17 PM
 
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Wink RMNP as exhibit and lesson

"If the current amount of total nitrogen deposition measured at the high-elevation monitoring site in Rocky Mountain National Park (3 kg/ha/yr) was the same throughout the park, the amount of airborne nitrogen entering the park would be equivalent to 35,500 twenty-pound bags of fertilizer." [1]


The RMNP link previously provided returns a relatively current fire update for the park, concerning the Fern Lake Fire. At the bottom of that page is the referenced quote presented here.

Observant visitors to this area may notice a certain degree of neon-green algae in rivers such as the Fall, particularly being more common in the warmer months. The Fall River is indicative of the direct effects of mankind, displaying far more of this through Estes Park, and downstream of development, than it is higher in the park, where distinctly more pristine. Yet one will find such (unnatural in degree) indications in the rivers and lakes of the RMNP at its highest and most remote reaches.

Unfortunately RMNP, as much of Colorado, is suffering the effects of the mountain pine beetle. That this insect natural to the environment is presently so widespread and with severe impact due such as warmer weather encouraging it. The very thing as well that is largely responsible for this present wildfire. They are both symptomatic. All is tied together, with warmer temperatures also having a negative effect on the park's waters and its aquatic life. The airborne introduction of nitrogen and other pollutants to the highest reaches of the park are also pushing the pH and other values of the waters to dangerous levels.

For those with a love of RMNP and all wilderness, these are troubling times. In such a still lovely place one might learn many lessons. Some are as obvious as wildfires, smoke and closed trails and roads. Others more hidden, but just as dire in what will eventually transpire. One might choose many places to explore, even their backyard, but in this American jewel among others one might in RMNP examine and learn how our natural environment is responding to the auspices of mankind—and what better paths we might follow.

For those concerned specifically with air pollution in RMNP, this following link may be relevant. [2]

1) 'Current Park Fires,' NPS / RMNP
Current Park Fires - Rocky Mountain National Park

2) 'Air Quality at Rocky Mountain National Park,' NPS / RMNP
NPS: Explore Nature*»*Air Resources*»*Air Quality in Parks - Rocky Mountain NP
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