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Old 08-25-2013, 05:18 PM
8,317 posts, read 25,855,591 times
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Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
You hear more about the wildfires where structures burn. If it is just the forest and in the middle of no where you won't hear about it on the news.
The West Fork fires were a great example. They were big news for the first week or two when they were threatening trophy homes and tourist traps. As soon as the fires moved into areas with few structures and a lot of budworm and beetle-killed trees, the metro news pukes forgot all about them, despite the fact that the fires consumed tens of thousands more acres and continued burning for weeks. If the fires had burned a house owned by the Kardashian sisters, we'd still be hearing about it.

Old 09-23-2013, 09:13 AM
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Seems with the monsoon hitting much of the state that the fire hazard has gone way down, so I'm going to close this thread on/about 01 Oct, remove it from sticky status and replace it with the annual winter weather thread. That being said, please post your final thoughts on the 2013 fire season. I can always reopen any thread if reasons warrant.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:35 PM
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Wink A few

Would just note that of a few days ago there were at least 38 active wildfires burning in the American West.

Not sure about Colorado, and possibly, thankfully none at the moment, but at minimum wildfires burning in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

We are being reminded in these recent heavy rains, and flooding, how the wildfires of past years can still have an at times sizable effect. Those in Manitou Springs can speak to that, as well highway crews dealing with debris flow across CO 14 along the Cache la Poudre River.

Glad that this thread has been no more active than it has this season.
Old 09-24-2013, 11:29 AM
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Wink Wildfire 'Richter' scale

“If you’re going to build there, then you need to use the following designs,” said Bryner, who introduced the scale at a recent International Association of Fire Fighters conference in Denver.' [1]

Another note on wildfires, and an issue many Colorado homeowners will be dealing with in future.

The federal government has developed a 'Richter' scale to classify the potential destructiveness of wildfires—one the insurance industry has been eager for.

Insurers have an interest, as the size, intensity, and destructiveness of wildfires has only increased with time. Wildfires destroyed about 400 homes in the 1970's. Since 2000, the figure has been about 3,000 annually. 1,100 Colorado homes were destroyed in 2012 and 2013, with $858 million in claims.

Moreover, it has been determined that more than 50 percent of homes lost to wildfires burned from flying embers on their roofs, from fires up to a half-mile distant. In instances even fireproof roof tiles did not prevent the spread of fire, with the embers infiltrating tiny cracks between them. Or also in other crevices past fire-resistant siding.

This new proposed scale would range from E1 to E4, with E4 denoting the highest exposure to fire. This scale is not to assess the strengths of wildfires, but of structures vulnerability to them. Thus primarily as a technical foundation upon which more stringent building codes may be applied.

While no one likely wishes their home to burn down, this is bad news writ large for many Coloradoans. At least those who like their homes—and landscaping—more or less as it is. And who still wish to be able to afford fire insurance. The direct implication is that someone will soon be dictating the design of any future home, as well as how those existing must be retrofitted. The costs could be significant. Even if one chooses to forego insurance, then changes likely mandated by government. As individual dwellings will be viewed as a collective, with all only as strong as the weakest member.

This also portends nothing good for the natural environment. The U.S. Forest Service has for some time been on a "thinning" program ostensibly designed to improve the "health" of our forests. But as their principal interest has always been logging, the result is not wilderness but something more akin to a suburban park, well pruned and suitable for future "harvesting." Those questioning this difference might talk with representatives of the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service to see how their objectives and methods vary. Better yet, view the results in person. The NPS does use controlled burns towards eliminating excess forest fuels—but in line in rebalancing to what would naturally be the case. As it might be remembered that many of our national parks, particularly in the West, are primarily constituted of officially designated wilderness, which by mandate must be protected and left as is for this and future generations.

But back to your yard. That is in danger, too. One will be surprised just how far back from a residence these authorities will think your trees, bushes, etc., must be. With that surrounding left essentially barren. With all the many homes presently out in the woods, this trend will see them increasingly become small islands of essentially field. With these defense perimeters expanding, and 'islands' will merge at their borders, with in whole large expanses of the forests the residents moved there for gone.

If this perhaps somewhat academic. That most expedient would see few if anyone still living in the mountains and other areas of high wildfire risk. Those initially expelled will likely be they financially unable to bear the higher cost of insurance and government mandates in retrofitting. In time, and perhaps not all that long, this could become prohibitive for many. A likely scenario is the growth of mountain towns that have been fortified against wildfire. Outlying residences will likely become more rare. Perhaps eventually outright banned, as an unacceptable risk to all others.

It is coming.

1) 'Feds developing 'Richter' scale for wildfires,' The Coloradoan
Feds developing 'Richter' scale for wildfires | The Coloradoan | coloradoan.com

Last edited by Idunn; 09-24-2013 at 11:38 AM..
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