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)
 
Old 06-20-2013, 03:10 PM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,689,879 times
Reputation: 1925

Advertisements

Jerry Marr is back with the type 2 incident team. She does a great job.

 
Old 06-20-2013, 05:32 PM
 
16,505 posts, read 20,899,000 times
Reputation: 47857
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
All of the western slope has been on a red flag warning for pretty much all day. And it will be that way tomorrow with no chance for rain in sight for the next week. While nothing has popped here as of now the 30-40 mph winds are worrisome. Humidity is down as well; yesterday afternoon it was 6%. Very very dry.

Same situation today--and a fire has really blown up about an hour and a half NW of Grand Junction.

Called the Wild Rose Fire, it's in some rough back country several miles from Rangely and it's near a number of gas wells and Encana company buildings. A youth camp a ways from the fire has evacuated some 40 kids from this area. It was caused by dry lightning. At last report from this morning 850 acres have burned.
 
Old 06-20-2013, 05:53 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,327,280 times
Reputation: 10277
Default Anothern Western Slope Fire Update

Quote:
New Closures on Rio Grande NF


-- June 20, 2013, 2:30 PM --


The West Fork fire is now established on the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass in Hope Creek and in Black Creek, four miles west of Highway 160, prompting Mineral and Rio Grande County Sheriff’s to issue new evacuation and pre-evacuation notices and closures for the following areas:


Evacuations: The Lake Humphreys and 4UR areas on the north side of the Weminuche Wilderness, approximately 6 miles south of Wagon Wheel Gap. The Metroz Lake area is also under evacuation notice.


Pre-Evacuation: The following areas along Highway 160 – Park Creek, Wolf Creek Ranch, Fun Valley, Elk Creek, Masonic Park, Trout Creek and River Bend. A pre-evacuation notice means residents should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. This means getting together medications, important documents, pets, etc. to take with you. Residents will be notified by a Sheriff’s Deputy if they need to evacuate.


Roads: Effective immediately, Highway 160 will be closed to traffic in both directions at the chain-up areas on the east and west side. The highway will be open to fire traffic only.
Since this is the LOST Corners, after all, we can't get local fire news on Cable. I have to listen to the NPR station out of Durango to find out what's going on. Local authorities advise travelers on 160 to instead go over Cumbres Pass between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO. They're going to make a few bucks in South Fork and Pagosa Springs tonight - actual tourist "traps."
 
Old 06-20-2013, 09:00 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,774,765 times
Reputation: 9132
Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
Some pine species do require fire to regenerate. In Colorado, this would be the lodgepole pine. Many of the ski resort towns, such as Vail & Breckenridge, are located in lodgepole pine forests. The fire cycle in this forest type is about every 50-100 years in the Rocky Mountain region. These fires are stand replacement fires, meaning they burn hot, kill off all the trees, and then the cones of the lodgepole can open and the seeds are released.

Most of the fires occurring in Colorado are in ponderosa pine forests. This forest type doesn't require fire to regenerate, but rather requires fire to thin out. The natural fire cycle in this forest type is about every 25-50 years for large fires, but as short as 5 years for small, surface fires. These trees have very thick bark that is adapted to keep fire out of the canopy of the trees. The resulting surface fires keep ponderosa pine forests open and "park-like," with many tall, large diameter trees and few small trees. Communities all along the Front Range that are in the trees, are in this forest type. You don't need me to tell you that these forests, for the most part, do not resemble this open, park-like setting. They are thick with short, stubby pine. They are being managed by fire, or by anything else.

The higher elevation forests, are compromised of a spruce-fir mix. The natural fire cycle in this forest type is much longer (up to 300 years between fires). But, once again, once it gets burning in this forest type, generally it's a stand replacement fire. However, aspen is usually the first species to regenerate after one of these fires, as the spruce-fir forest type is the climax species

(Finally, I'm using that forestry degree again, ma! )



The forest types may change, but I don't think Jeffery pine will be the species. That pine is located mostly in Oregon and California, with a small pocket in CA. Maybe you're thinking of a different species? At any rate, I don't think any of us will see this change in our lifetime. Different species have already adapted to most of these forest types. Douglas-fir is an example. Once only found on north facing slopes in the Ponderosa pine habitat, it's now found throughout because of fire suppression.



A good synopsis of the situation, whether you believe in climate change or not (still have no idea why this is even a debate, but I'll leave that one out of this). Even if this is a natural warming cycle, it's allowing insects and diseases to kill off the forests at an epidemic rate. Perhaps it needed to happen, as we've suppressed fire for so long. However, more than likely, that policy is backfiring on us, as we are now creating prime conditions for these mega fires.



Couldn't agree with you more on #1 and #2. Not sure sure people will ever get it though. If you build in the forest, especially where fire is required to keep it healthy, then you will eventually burn. It's unfortunate for people who lost homes, but it's the reality and the risk of living in such a place.
A good synopsis on Rocky Mountain forest ecology. Unfortunately, this year is looking much like the fire season of 1879--when forests were a lot healthier than now--when summer-long fires ravaged hundreds of thousands of acres in southwestern Colorado. Many of those burned in high-altitude spruce-fir forests ravaged by spruce budworm and pine beetles. Unlike Ponderosa pine and lodgepole forests that can regenerate in a human lifetime, almost no one alive today will live long enough to see the spruce-fir forests burning now (around Wolf Creek Pass as an example) regenerate. They take several hundred years. The spruce-fir forest that burned in 1879 around Cumbres Pass (ironically, where US 160 traffic is being diverted due to the fires up on Wolf Creek) has barely begun to regenerate--134 years after the fire.

This fire season appears to be a "deal changer" for Colorado forests, when many of them will never be what they were while any of us are alive. As for the Wolf Creek fires, I happened to be on business down in the area where the smoke plume and pyrocumulus cloud from that fire were plainly visible. It was amazing how that fire "blew up" today in 30+ mph winds. Tomorrow promises much of the same. If there is any "silver lining" in that pyrocumulus cloud, it may be the the land owned by a certain Texas billionaire that has been planned for mega-development near Wolf Creek Pass (and vehemently opposed by many local residents for years) may have just been turned into an ashtray. If it was, maybe the fire is worth it.
 
Old 06-20-2013, 09:42 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,327,280 times
Reputation: 10277
jazzlover wrote: If there is any "silver lining" in that pyrocumulus cloud, it may be the the land owned by a certain Texas billionaire that has been planned for mega-development near Wolf Creek Pass (and vehemently opposed by many local residents for years) may have just been turned into an ashtray. If it was, maybe the fire is worth it.

We can only hope. Perhaps other billionaire types will also be disuaded from coming to Colorado and committing such atrocities due to the high risk of potential fires these days and with no end to them in sight.

Aside on forest succession: There's a place on the Uncompaghre Plateau in the canyon carved by the Tabeguache Creek where a blip in the micro-climate has Ponderosa Pine growing near the river bank while pinyon and juniper grow nearer to the top at a higher elevation. This is the exact opposite of what you would expect to see in a forest under-going natural succession. It was a spectacular area last time I visited - another of the Uncompaghre's little secrets. I'm almost afraid to see what I'll find now.

On a far broader scale, I'm wondering if the pinyon-juniper stands will gradually move up into what was once Ponderosa forest as the warming continues, and the Ponderosa might move up and displace Douglas fir from its usual habitat, and so on? These sorts of shifts do occur in forest communities over long periods of either warming or cooling.
 
Old 06-21-2013, 12:36 AM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,018,462 times
Reputation: 2621
Wink United States 160

For those not having spent much time in southern Colorado, thought I'd mention that US 160 is the main east/west route in that region. US 50, to the north, is the next major road. It may not look it from a map, but detouring via Cumbres Pass, and into New Mexico, is significant.

Although this wildfire has rapidly spread of late, given its present position, one might question the present closure of US 160. Or for the northern terminus of that to be the town limits of South Fork. Just out of South Fork in that direction—and at the moment a good distance from any wildfire—there are any number of campgrounds and summer resorts. That closure is going to spoil many vacations, whether the wildfire ever reaches as far or not.

As some consolation, the drive through Chama, NM and over Cumbres Pass is scenic and enjoyable. If probably less so for all the truckers; US 160 is a major route.
 
Old 06-21-2013, 12:44 AM
 
1,163 posts, read 1,198,056 times
Reputation: 929
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
it may be the the land owned by a certain Texas billionaire that has been planned for mega-development near Wolf Creek Pass (and vehemently opposed by many local residents for years) may have just been turned into an ashtray. If it was, maybe the fire is worth it.
A pyrrhic victory in the purest sense of the word.
 
Old 06-21-2013, 01:15 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,327,280 times
Reputation: 10277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
For those not having spent much time in southern Colorado, thought I'd mention that US 160 is the main east/west route in that region. US 50, to the north, is the next major road. It may not look it from a map, but detouring via Cumbres Pass, and into New Mexico, is significant.

Although this wildfire has rapidly spread of late, given its present position, one might question the present closure of US 160. Or for the northern terminus of that to be the town limits of South Fork. Just out of South Fork in that direction—and at the moment a good distance from any wildfire—there are any number of campgrounds and summer resorts. That closure is going to spoil many vacations, whether the wildfire ever reaches as far or not.

As some consolation, the drive through Chama, NM and over Cumbres Pass is scenic and enjoyable. If probably less so for all the truckers; US 160 is a major route.
West Fork Complex Fire Update; Mandatory Evacuations

There is a mandatory evacuation in place now from the top of Wolf Creek Pass to the City limits of South Fork. Alamosa Regional EOC has been notified. Shelter locations are the Del Norte High School for people, and the Sky High Complex in Monte Vista for RV and large animals.


Sounds like things are about to turn interesting. They'll need to build a lot of fire line to prevent the flames from making a run for it to South Fork when the sun rises and winds possibly pick up. Hope the folks in South Fork will be OK.
 
Old 06-21-2013, 07:25 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,774,765 times
Reputation: 9132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
Although this wildfire has rapidly spread of late, given its present position, one might question the present closure of US 160. Or for the northern terminus of that to be the town limits of South Fork. Just out of South Fork in that direction—and at the moment a good distance from any wildfire—there are any number of campgrounds and summer resorts. That closure is going to spoil many vacations, whether the wildfire ever reaches as far or not.
The unspoken words, I suspect, are that the fire officials expect those fires to make major runs today and over the weekend. The weather forecast calls for Red Flag conditions for the next three days, with no moisture in sight in the 7 day forecast. One can probably say goodbye to much of the "black timber" spruce forests on Wolf Creek Pass in the next few days. I've spent over 45 years roaming around in those forests and to see them gone will be sad, but it is the natural course of things--the cycle of life. Fortunately, I got to see it "back when." For those who haven't seen those forests as they were up until the last couple of days--well, they won't get that chance ever again in their lives. Some of the favorable burned areas may be colonized by aspen in the next decade or so, but much of the Wolf Creek area, like the higher elevation areas around Cumbres Pass that burned 134 years ago, are too high for aspen colonization, so they will just transform into open grassy "parks" as the dead snags slowly fall down and rot away.
 
Old 06-21-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,327,280 times
Reputation: 10277
(I'll continue to post West Fork Fire Updates, as we get them down here)

For anyone thinking of taking Highway 160 west bound out to the Western Slope, please check for road closures before you set out. Currently, both west and east travelers are still being diverted over Cunbres Pass

West Fork Fire Complex Update -- June 21, 2013, 8:00 AM

Quote:
A RED FLAG warning has been issued for today; this is the third day in a row where conditions are ideal for rapid fire spread and for the chances of any ignition source starting new fires. With the predicted weather and the volatile fuels, the fire is again expected to make significant runs. The total acreage for the West Fork Fire Complex rose from 12,710 acres Wednesday morning to 29,911 acres as of 6:00 AM Friday morning. Most of the gain in acreage was on the West Fork Fire.

West Fork Fire: Fire behavior on the West Fork fire was extreme; it made a close to 7-mile -run in a northeasterly direction. Eric Norton, Fire Behavior Analyst for the NIMO Team, said “The fire behavior we saw yesterday was so extreme, it was undocumented and unprecedented” The fire more than doubled in size going from 12,001 acres to close to 29,000 acres today. The fire burned in a northeasterly direction crossing the Continental Divide and burning on the ridge above Big Meadows Reservoir down to Metroz Lake. In some locations the fire is only ½ mile from Highway 160. Firefighters were able to hold the fire from spreading to the south and all structures and cabins at Borns Lake were not affected by yesterday’s fire activity.

Windy Pass Fire: The Windy Pass Fire only grew by about 300 acres yesterday and firefighters have been able to hold the Windy Pass Fire within the established indirect containment lines. There was a spot fire to the east of the ski area yesterday that hand crews were able to catch and extinguish.

Evacuations: There are multiple ongoing evacuations and pre-evacuations for the most update information on evacuations please go to Archuleta County Emergency Information or call 970 731-2745

Closures: Again there are multiple road and trail closures the primary ones are Highway 160 and all roads and trails accessing 160 between South Fork and Treasure Falls.
I wonder how many other extreme and unprecedented fires we'll have this summer?
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.


Closed Thread


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
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:26 AM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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