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Old 05-29-2012, 06:50 PM
 
13,223 posts, read 12,397,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Humidity has typically been below 15% every afternoon and evening. There is still some green out there, but it can't last long from that kind of an assault. The week's forecast is for more of the same, no rain, and warming temperatures.
Am watching Butch McCain on KKCO, GJ's NBC affiliate right now. He briefly touched on the Paradox fire and the news people are heading to Gateway for a meeting at the Gateway community center this evening to advise townspeople of the fire's status. The fire is actually five miles north of Paradox but I would imagine the concern is the air situation in Gateway. Paradox to Gateway might be fifteen to twenty air miles, but by car it is closer to seventy five miles as you have to wind down state highway 90 to get back to Naturita and then catch state highway 141 and come back up northwest to Gateway.

He also gave a number that is sobering to say the least. Grand Junction's total moisture to date is 1.38 inches, down from an average of 3.76 inches.

That's not the monthly total of accumulation either. It is the yearly total.

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 05-29-2012 at 06:59 PM..

 
Old 05-29-2012, 07:11 PM
 
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Unfortunately, the January-present precipitation totals are at about 50% or less than average all across southwestern Colorado and points south. Since June is typically dry in most of that area, the stage is set for explosive fire conditions. Interestingly, it appears that the Little Sand fire near Pagosa Springs was ignited naturally by a lightning strike. I was in the area when that fire started and only a few small very high-base thunderstorms were present, but that is all that it takes in the current dry environment. One of the common elements of early incursions of moister air of the Southwest Monsoon is prodigious production of high-based thunderstorms producing little rain. Until the Southwest Monsoon is in full swing, it actually is a fire producer, not a fire quencher. Upon that basis, I predict a lot more wildfires will start in June before the wetter portion of the Southwest Monsoon arrives (hopefully) to help extinguish them. If the Southwest Monsoon is weak, as it apparently was in the banner fire year of 1879, the forest geography of a lot of Colorado could be rewritten by the time the snow flies.
 
Old 05-30-2012, 01:09 PM
Status: "The countdown has begun!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
810 posts, read 709,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I hate to see forests on fire, knowing that they will never again in my lifetime look as they did in their prime, but that is the way of nature.
That's the tricky bit - we tend to be shortsighted and mother nature isn't.

It is ironic that in the interest of making the forests look "pretty" we have set them up for their own destruction.
 
Old 05-30-2012, 01:12 PM
Status: "CSU P football NCAA at national championship!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
10,359 posts, read 11,932,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigal Native View Post
That's the tricky bit - we tend to be shortsighted and mother nature isn't.

It is ironic that in the interest of making the forests look "pretty" we have set them up for their own destruction.
I still stand behind my opinion that we should do all we can to put out forest fires. As a taxpayer I expect it in the state of Colorado.
 
Old 05-30-2012, 01:19 PM
 
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A side note--the Whitewater-Baldy fire in New Mexico is now the largest acreage fire in New Mexico history at 170,772 acres (almost 267 square miles!) as of the Forest Service Inciweb report this morning. (Oddly, there is no current discussion on the New Mexico forum about this historic event--maybe too unsavory for the some of the "everything is wonderful" folks over there?)

My point here is that conditions that led to that record-setting fire in New Mexico are all in place in Colorado--especially in the southern half of the state. About all that is lacking is an ignition source. When an ignition occurs (not "if" but "when"), we'll be off to the races here, too.
 
Old 05-30-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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KKCO is reporting that the fire crews are making some progress here. The fire is now at 48% containment.

One problem though. A good portion of northwest Colorado is on a red flag warning for this afternoon and evening regarding winds. The Paradox area isn't anywhere near Rangely and Craig. Still, the winds can come up in no time. Plus the humidity is low, way low. Right now GJ's humidity is 11%. The one saving grace is the mild temperatures but GJ is calling for 90 degrees tomorrow and the rest of the week.
 
Old 05-30-2012, 01:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
I still stand behind my opinion that we should do all we can to put out forest fires. As a taxpayer I expect it in the state of Colorado.
And you would still be wrong about it.

I might as well add a little historical clarification. It's nice to believe that the old "Smokey the Bear" fire suppression policy was born out of love for pristine natural forests, but it wasn't. Forest fire suppression was mandated because a primary use for National Forests in their early years was still for logging. A burnt forest was of no use to loggers. In some ways, logging acted as a surrogate for fires in that trees were thinned (or removed entirely by clearcutting), freeing up the forest for new tree growth. Unfortunately, the cessation of logging combined with continued rigorous fire suppression has allowed many forests to become overgrown, overmature, and disease and fire-prone. Those unhealthy forests are now far too widespread for human management (e.g., logging and thinning) to have much impact. So, most of those unhealthy forests will regenerate by burning, sooner or later. Continuing to suppress fires, at best, will only postpone the day of reckoning and will, almost assuredly, mean that fire--when it does come--will be even more extensive and traumatic than it is now.

Last edited by jazzlover; 05-30-2012 at 01:31 PM..
 
Old 05-31-2012, 05:27 PM
Status: "The countdown has begun!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
810 posts, read 709,201 times
Reputation: 983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
I still stand behind my opinion that we should do all we can to put out forest fires. As a taxpayer I expect it in the state of Colorado.
I understand your position and appreciate the intent, but like so many things in this country we are going to have to bite the bullet and make choices that are not pleasant (aesthetically or otherwise).

I am not for letting fires burn until they put themselves out, although that will end up happening if we push things too far, but birds gotta fly, forests gotta burn...
 
Old 05-31-2012, 05:56 PM
Status: "CSU P football NCAA at national championship!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
10,359 posts, read 11,932,868 times
Reputation: 3123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigal Native View Post
I understand your position and appreciate the intent, but like so many things in this country we are going to have to bite the bullet and make choices that are not pleasant (aesthetically or otherwise).

I am not for letting fires burn until they put themselves out, although that will end up happening if we push things too far, but birds gotta fly, forests gotta burn...
I think the only choice is put the fire out if it starts. I grantee you the firestorm (pun intended) that would start if the national forest service let a fire burn in Colorado would be more intense then any fire they put out. Especially if homes were lost.
 
Old 05-31-2012, 06:09 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,200,501 times
Reputation: 8261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
I think the only choice is put the fire out if it starts. I grantee you the firestorm (pun intended) that would start if the national forest service let a fire burn in Colorado would be more intense then any fire they put out. Especially if homes were lost.
You continue to act like there is going to be choice in the matter. The huge fire in New Mexico is proving very graphically that a mega-fire burning in severe drought conditions is pretty much going to do what it is going to do. Snuffing out some little fires may stop a few big ones, but when Mother Nature decides that a large fire is going to start under our current severe drought conditions, the best thing that humans can do is to get the hell out the way. That will probably mean the loss of a lot of "neato" permanent structures built where they never should have been. People will complain, moan, and blame about that for years afterward, but Mother Nature bats last, and if you or your junk is in front of the bat, it's gonna hurt.
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