U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-07-2012, 07:37 AM
 
16,178 posts, read 20,188,186 times
Reputation: 46732

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Probably just beads of sweat being blown on you from a guy upwind...
That guy upwind was probably me as I was cussing and swearing while changing a flat tire on the Buick while I was on I-70!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-07-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,755 posts, read 16,457,602 times
Reputation: 9292
wanneroo wrote:
Amazingly I have never been up on Grand Mesa for instance. Just never got around to it.
The Grand Mesa is well worth a visit. Fall is a better time to visit. Summer is nice too, especially if you like mosquitos. While not the worst mosquito environment I've encountered, it's the worst one in Colorado that I'm aware of.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2012, 10:32 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,839,172 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Gila wildfire & Colorado

"We've been in a long drought cycle for the last 20 years, and conditions now are great for these type of fires," said Steve Pyne, author of Tending Fire: Coping with America's Wildland Fires and a life science professor at Arizona State University. "Everything is in line." [1]


The wildfire in the Gila Wilderness of southwest New Mexico is now by far the largest in that state's history, at 190,000 acres, or 300 square miles, burned. The second largest fire burned 156,000 acres near Los Alamos, NM last year. Presently, the Gila fire is 5% contained and spreading in all directions.

Last weekend air quality in portions of southern Colorado were distinctly bad due this fire far south in New Mexico. The land appears fairly dry in southern Colorado, with not a great deal of snow on the higher peaks, particularly those of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. As with rivers elsewhere in the state, the Rio Grande river is not running as high as it normally would this time of year.

If focused on the Gila fire and New Mexico, this article also touches on the challenging conditions across Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. It is interesting reading, and a sobering assessment.

1) 'Gila Wilderness blaze could be just the beginning,' Santa Fe New Mexican
Gila Wilderness blaze could be just the beginning - The Santa Fe New Mexican
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2012, 11:08 AM
 
Location: CO
2,534 posts, read 5,819,996 times
Reputation: 3295
Warm and dry indeed so far - From the Daily Camera, this year Boulder had the earliest last freeze of the season, the driest spring on record, and the warmest March and April in 30 years:

With just over 3 inches of moisture, Boulder concluded its driest March-through-May on record Thursday

Quote:
Boulder received just 3.01 inches of precipitation over the three-month period, meteorologist Matt Kelsch said, making it the driest spring -- as he defines the season for weather purposes -- since the city began keeping records in 1894. The average amount of precipitation Boulder receives in March, April and May is 7.85 inches, Kelsch said.

Snowpack levels statewide are about 5 percent of average for this time of year, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

"It was a dismally dry spring," Kelsch said. Adding to the dry weather problems in Boulder were unusually high temperatures over the last three months, he said. March and April were the warmest they had been in 30 years.

Boulder last experienced freezing temperatures early on the morning of April 4, Kelsch said. It was the earliest last frost of the season on record. . .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2012, 05:58 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,107,644 times
Reputation: 9065
March-May has been the driest on record just about everywhere in Colorado. I was just looking at streamflows in two of Colorado's major rivers today--the Colorado and the Gunnison. They are about where they would be in late August.

As I've posted on the "fire" thread, this may be the year that equals or eclipses the brutal fire year of 1879, when huge forests fires remade much of the southern Colorado forest landscape. Of course, back in 1879, Colorado was very sparsely populated and there wasn't a ton of man-made crap nestled in those burning forests. Nor were millions of people dependent on the water stored in those watersheds. This year could be Nature's b***ch-slap that reminds us just what kind of rigorous and unforgiving habitat we seem intent on overpopulating.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2012, 08:45 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,026,437 times
Reputation: 7537
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
. This year could be Nature's b***ch-slap that reminds us just what kind of rigorous and unforgiving habitat we seem intent on overpopulating.
Nah, not really. It's just the same cycle of fire and regeneration that has always happened and will happen regardless of who is hanging about to watch.

It will certainly be a big fire season and I think we all know the pine beetle trees need to go. I just hope and wish everyone stay safe and evacuate if need be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2012, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,755 posts, read 16,457,602 times
Reputation: 9292
wanneroo wrote:
I just hope and wish everyone stay safe and evacuate if need be.
After all the complaining and b*itching in this thread, it's great to read a sentence that cuts to the chase and gets to the heart of the matter. I agree 100%!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2012, 04:34 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,839,172 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Reduced wildfire budgets

"A person has to wonder. Is this going to be the new norm frequent record-setting fires, while the number of federal firefighters and air tankers continue to shrink?" wrote Bill Gabbert, a former fire management officer in the Black Hills of South Dakota . . . " [1]


Beyond mentioning it, I'm not going to get into why true wilderness should remain as such and not mucked about by mankind.

But the point of referencing this article is in finding through it that federal funds for fighting wildfires has actually decreased. The expected trend are for conditions conducive for all the more mega forest fires, as currently burning in the Gila national forest. In contrast, funding for federal efforts has been cut by about 15%, or $512m, since 2010. Indeed, the number of aging air tankers critical in fighting such fires has fallen over the last decade from 44 to 14.

Your government at work, or not exactly so.

1) 'Wildfire budget cuts in Congress put communites in danger, experts warn,' The Guardian
Wildfire budget cuts in Congress put communites in danger, experts warn | World news | guardian.co.uk
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2012, 04:59 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,107,644 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
[color="DarkOliveGreen"][I Indeed, the number of aging air tankers critical in fighting such fires has fallen over the last decade from 44 to 14.

Your government at work, or not exactly so.

Several bad crashes with those "aging" air tankers in the last 10-15 years is the reason that most of the remainder have been grounded. Most of them were World War II or Korea-vintage planes. A lot of them were piston-engine, high-octane gasoline-fueled planes. Piloting one of those into an inferno of a forest fire is not something I would want to do. Most of the pilots of those planes were Korean or Viet Nam-era pilots, as well. The supply of them is running low these days, too. There are really no newer vintage planes that are very well suited for forest-fire duty. The newer planes are usually too big, too fast, and/or too unmaneuverable to be very useful. So, that is going to be a big problem going forward.

In truth, air tankers are of limited value, at best, in fighting the kind of mega-fires that are going to burn in the Rockies. Slurry bombing is ill-suited to stop fires that are making their own weather, and carrying embers dozens of miles on near hurricane-force fire-generated winds. The tankers best use is to protect small areas with slurry drops or to help establish fire lines before fires get too big. One of the big problems with current conditions is that fires will be able to start and spread so quickly that they will likely be beyond control by air support by the time such air support can be deployed. In the end, it is Mother Nature that set the table for these kinds of fires this year (with the help of a century of man-made fire suppression) and it will be Mother Nature that finally puts most of them out--when she is good and ready to do so.

By the way, from what I've observed today in western Colorado, the weather has been just as predicted: a bunch of high-based, lightning producing thunderstorms with scant rain. Where I was, I counted about 25 ligtning strikes within about 35 minutes, with just over a trace of rain. High winds predicted in the coming days--that ought to be "interesting."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2012, 07:47 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,839,172 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Aldo Leopold, fire and its effects

"The opportunity exists to look at how this fire has behaved differently in terms of vegetation mortality, effects on wildlife and fish habitat and water quality," Rollins said. "We can study how it burned in the wilderness relative to areas with other types of fire management strategies and other types of ignition patterns." [1]


Father of the wilderness movement, Aldo Leopold was instrumental in seeing the Gila Wilderness designated the first official wilderness area in 1924.

Since then the Gila has experienced a number of fires, and since the 1970's been experimented upon with management strategies at times letting fires burn in this large wilderness area. With a large amount of previously accumulated data, the results of this present fire will be studied with interest to determine the validity of theories in practice. A good portion of the present fire in the Gila is said to have burned with a low to moderate intensity. This in comparison to hotter fires—possibly induced with more fuel or ideal conditions—which effectively leave little but ashes. So the hope that future study in this area will determine a greater ability of the land to recover.

U.S. Forest Service doctrine in this regard seems peripatetic. With this Gila fire as example, they seem intent on fighting it with traditional techniques rather than leaving to it to burn naturally, as likely begun by lightning. It helps that this is a sparsely populated area, with relatively few residences affected. The policy with the huge wildfire in Yellowstone National Park several years ago was to let it naturally burn initially, protecting only iconic structures such as the Old Faithful Inn; but eventually public opinion, as well as the fear the better part of the park would burn, interceded in more aggressive fire suppression techniques. So it is far from clear exactly what protocol is in any given instance.

It should be noted that designated wilderness areas are by law supposed to remain "untrammeled" by man, but that mandate is routinely ignored. As far as fire is concerned, that would mean neither "thinning" anything, nor interceding when fires naturally occur. Given mankind's propensity to "manage" everything, as well as the increasing number of residences in forests, leaving nature largely alone seems one of the least likely options exercised.

With the inevitable aftereffects of the Gila wildfire there will be interest to what degree the wildlife and their habitat can recover. One expected outcome is river debris affecting such places as Glenwood, NM, and possible flooding in consequence. Unpleasant side effects such as this would surely influence policy if a good portion of Colorado experienced wildfire.

The relatively small Cow Creek Fire in the northeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park in 2010 burned something over 1,500 acres. But in this designated wilderness area seemed to have been fought more aggressively than it might have, as never really threatening the nearby town of Glen Haven. Toxic fire retardant was used, which surely washed down through the watershed. Despite naming nomenclature, the river most directly influenced was West Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Big Thompson. After this fairly small fire, it evidenced a large amount of very fine black silt washed up into all eddies. The North Fork ran nearly black for a time during this period, possibly due this influence.

These otherwise pristine rivers can serve as the proverbial canaries, with direct evidence at the time—and lingering—of all that has touched upon them.

1) 'Record NM blaze will test forest management, ' The Seattle Times
Record NM blaze will test forest management | Nation & World | The Seattle Times
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top