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Old 06-23-2013, 11:50 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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West Fork continues to burn - now over 70,000 acres. 350 fire personnel are attempting to control the blaze. For the 5th day in a row, winds gusting from 10 -25mph have helped fan the flames as the fire continues to burn through standing trees dead from beetle kill. Highway 160 remains closed for the third day in a row.


WOLF CREEK PASS VIEWING AREA BEFORE THE FIRE:





WOLF CREEK TURNING INTO JUST ONE MORE CRISPY CRITTER (view from South Fork side of the pass)


















Official Thread for all 2013 Colorado Fire Season Topics-wolf-creek-view.jpg

Official Thread for all 2013 Colorado Fire Season Topics-smoke_south_fork_blog.jpg

 
Old 06-23-2013, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
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Wow sad makes me remember my good times in Pagosa
 
Old 06-23-2013, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado xxxxx View Post
Wow sad makes me remember my good times in Pagosa
I agree, absolutely love the area around Pagosa Springs. It has been an area on my radar for potential relocation as I love the mountains there.

Right now though, I'll take my very far away from wildfires downtown Colorado Springs 1940's bungalow and my shady green lot. It may not my dream location as I love smaller towns and more rural settings but I am also not evacuated right now wondering if everything I own in the world is about to be incinerated. I am very, very thankful for that and my heart goes out to those who are suffering this wildfire season.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 11:30 PM
 
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Wink 400ppm and South Fork

“It’s not typical to have these kinds of fires here,” said Blume*. “But beetle kill and drought is also not the norm.”

Firefighters are hoping for a break in the high winds as well as the anticipated July monsoons to help them fight back the flames. Until then, Blume said, “with that much beetle kill and drought we could have every resource in the country here and still not put in a containment line.”

Still, fire officials believe portions of the blaze likely will burn all summer in forested, nonresidential areas, with full extinguishment probably months away.'
[1]

* Pete Blume, a commander with the Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Command Team




As for portions of the West Fork Complex Fire possibly burning all summer, more than likely. The 2012 Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park began in October, almost ran into Estes Park proper, and then continued to burn and smolder most of the winter. No one I've spoken with yet in RMNP seems to know, but apparently this one wildfire is now extinguished, probably by the heavy snows of April. There is no present indication of it in hiking up along the Big Thompson River, if certainly sign of the scars left in result.

The Papoose Fire, now considered part of the West Fork Complex, has actually been burning for some time. After a brief mention in the media it was about impossible to gain any information on it, as if apparently out. But now that small wildfire has recently grown to 19,000 plus acres and possibly threatening Creede.

The West Fork Fire is by some reports but 1.5 miles from South Fork, and also heading directly toward CO 149 in the area of Masonic Park. The winds are said to have shifted, and surely so as South Fork still remains. But it is that close and seemingly only God and the hand of providence will in the end spare that enchanting place, if as lucky.

This is what the figure of 400ppm means.


1) 'Fires rage; South Fork evacuation may be long,' The Durango Herald
The Durango Herald 06/23/2013 | Fires rage; South Fork evacuation may be long
 
Old 06-24-2013, 10:42 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,874,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
West Fork continues to burn - now over 70,000 acres. 350 fire personnel are attempting to control the blaze. For the 5th day in a row, winds gusting from 10 -25mph have helped fan the flames as the fire continues to burn through standing trees dead from beetle kill. Highway 160 remains closed for the third day in a row.


WOLF CREEK PASS VIEWING AREA BEFORE THE FIRE:





WOLF CREEK TURNING INTO JUST ONE MORE CRISPY CRITTER (view from South Fork side of the pass)

















If you look at the photo from the Wolf Creek Pass, the dead and dying spruce are plainly visible.

Here is the point, which most people just can't seem to get:

In most cases, forest fires can not be "prevented," they can just be postponed. Aesthetically displeasing as fires are to us, they doing exactly what needed to be done--cleansing a dead and diseased forest.

The main thrust of the firefighting efforts should be this:

*Protect structures of historic significance.

*Protect significant transportation and utility corridors.

*Keep people out of harm's way in the fire area.

*Not put firefighters lives at risk trying to save the recent stuff built where it never should have been built in the first place in a tinderbox.

*AND LET THE FIRE RUN ITS COURSE IN DISEASED AND DEAD TIMBER.

I fully expect the fires to make a big run today--weather conditions are perfect for it.
 
Old 06-24-2013, 02:01 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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jazzlover wrote: If you look at the photo from the Wolf Creek Pass, the dead and dying spruce are plainly visible.

Yep, I think people get so used to stands of dead trees, they don't even notice them. It is ironic that the picture from the South Fork side is framed by the branches of a dead tree.

Quote:
*AND LET THE FIRE RUN ITS COURSE IN DISEASED AND DEAD TIMBER.
The fire season which is unfolding this summer seems to be one where's there's no "let" about it. The forests are tinder boxes and conditions perfect for a fire to grow and burn thousands of acres.

I am of two minds about this. I wonder if the forests will continue to go through their normal cycle of sucession, given the changing climate. Trees took long enough to grow before in our arid climate and now our climate is even more arid.

Then again, I agree that stands of dead trees with large amounts of underbrush and beetle infecting the living trees might as well burn, since they're a dead loss, anyhow.
 
Old 06-24-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
jazzlover wrote: If you look at the photo from the Wolf Creek Pass, the dead and dying spruce are plainly visible.

Yep, I think people get so used to stands of dead trees, they don't even notice them. It is ironic that the picture from the South Fork side is framed by the branches of a dead tree.



The fire season which is unfolding this summer seems to be one where's there's no "let" about it. The forests are tinder boxes and conditions perfect for a fire to grow and burn thousands of acres.

I am of two minds about this. I wonder if the forests will continue to go through their normal cycle of sucession, given the changing climate. Trees took long enough to grow before in our arid climate and now our climate is even more arid.

Then again, I agree that stands of dead trees with large amounts of underbrush and beetle infecting the living trees might as well burn, since they're a dead loss, anyhow.
Lodgepole pines need fire to reproduce. The result of burning off the dead trees will be new growth.
 
Old 06-24-2013, 02:27 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
Lodgepole pines need fire to reproduce. The result of burning off the dead trees will be new growth.
Oh, sure. And the aspen need fire, as well. But different species may or may not be hardy in the face of a changing climate. At the moment, I'd say all bets are off - only time will tell.
 
Old 06-24-2013, 02:35 PM
 
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^Right now, the biggest fires in burning in mature spruce-fir forests in southern Colorado, not in the beetle-infested lodgepole forests of central and northern Colorado. Lodgepole, in fact, is not a native tree in the southernmost Colorado forests. I suspect that, if the current trend continues this summer, we very well may see some humdinger wildfires in the lodgepole forests of central and northern Colorado. Other than the fact that those may burn up a lot of latter-day resort and second-home crap built in a tinderbox when the fires "light up," the biggest threat those fires will pose is the short-term (1-5 years) havoc they could cause to the watersheds upon which a few million Front Range residents depend for water. That might be real interesting to watch, as a huge 1-5 year dent in Front Range water supplies might as well be for a century considering the economic havoc and dislocations it might cause.
 
Old 06-24-2013, 04:44 PM
 
Location: augusta, ks
49 posts, read 65,910 times
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Default Forest Fire of 2013

It is heart breaking to see the forest fires right now, but a long time coming from lack of timer management, Pine Bark beetle, prescribed burning and drought. I pray for all and hope your property is not lost.
Keep positive and rest ensure that these areas will recover in time.
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