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Old 03-15-2013, 08:32 AM
1,742 posts, read 2,687,220 times
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And it's only March.
Grass fire near Red Rock Canyon contained | fire, rock, grass - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

Old 03-15-2013, 12:55 PM
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Another one today.
7NEWS - Fire burning outside Lory State Park in Fort Collins - Local Story
Old 03-15-2013, 04:36 PM
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Default Another fire?

Is there one in the foothills today?
Old 03-15-2013, 04:48 PM
Location: Vermont, grew up in Colorado and California
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Larimer County Fire and EMS
Old 03-16-2013, 07:11 PM
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Wink Galena Fire as sign

“It’s going to be very tough for Fort Collins tomorrow,” said 9News KUSA forecaster Belen De Leon on Saturday. “Today things have kind of let up ... but tomorrow is going to get a whole lot windier.” [1]

So much for the forecasted "rain" helping much—or appearing.

Reports have those evacuated being able to return home for now, due current condition of this fire at Lory State Park, at Horsetooth Reservoir, just west of Fort Collins. How all proceeds tomorrow is to be determined.

Might I point out that it is still "winter." This but a small sign of that to come.

1) 'Forecasters warn: Sunday will be 'very tough' for Galena Fire crews due to high winds,' The Coloradoan
Forecasters warn: Sunday will be 'very tough' for Galena Fire crews due to high winds | The Coloradoan | coloradoan.com
Old 03-16-2013, 07:56 PM
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The weather patterns in the next few weeks will probably "tell the tale" for the rest of the 2013 fire season. In a normal year, April and May are two of the wettest months of the year in northern Colorado, especially east of the Continental Divide. They are going to have to be in order to prevent an absolutely unbelievably active fire season this year. In northern Colorado, the last half of July and August typically are the driest period of the summer. So, if moisture is inadequate between now and then, things could really be rough for northern Colorado in late summer.

In the southern half of Colorado, especially west of I-25, in a normal year, we will soon pass the wettest part of spring--late March and April. June is typically the hottest and driest month of the warm season in southwestern Colorado. Most of southern Colorado is already in pitiful condition for soil moisture, so a "normal" spring will mean off-the-charts fire danger by June. The key event to watch for fire danger in southern Colorado will be the arrival and strength of the Southwest Monsoon. In 2012, it was strong enough to mitigate the fire danger (though, as is typical, it did little for streamflows) in many areas by late July. We can only pray for a repeat of that this year. If it doesn't happen, 2013 could rival the record year of 1879 for voracious wildfires in southern Colorado.

No one should be deceived about the potential magnitude of this fire season. Nearly all the pieces are in place for a savage fire season. If that trend continues, there will be little that can be done to stop the major wildfires that will likely erupt. Millions of acres of Colorado forests are ripe to burn, conditions look to be right for it, firefighting resources will be woefully inadequate (and, often, for political reasons, poorly deployed), and the public--despite plenty of warning from last year's fire season--ill-prepared for it.

Every so often, Mother Nature deals out extremely harsh lessons to the ignorant, unprepared, or unseeing. This is likely to be one of those years in Colorado.
Old 03-17-2013, 03:37 PM
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Wink We'll get around to it department

"I know it was windy yesterday but late in the afternoon it got very calm and a helicopter could have done a lot of good,” he said. “A few years ago we had a grass fire at Horsetooth Reservoir, a helicopter was here with a water bucket within 30 minutes and had the fire out within a half an hour. Obviously this fire and weather conditions were different yesterday but we need to have the most rapid response available for what we know it’s going to be a bad year.” [1]

Apparently the nearest available heavy air tanker is in Montana. Wildfire preparedness is at Level 1 nationally; with one being the lowest, with few resources available.

As Colorado Senator Udall and others have pointed out, conditions are changing. Which might suggest being ready earlier in the season. Most air tankers and helicopters are privately owned—and yet to be hired for the season.

Or see: if the weather does not cooperate and this or other fires flare up quickly—perhaps prepare for being somewhat on your own.

1) 'Few national resources available to help fight Galena Fire west of Fort Collins,' The Coloradoan
Few national resources available to help fight Galena Fire west of Fort Collins | The Coloradoan | coloradoan.com
Old 03-18-2013, 08:36 AM
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Will the monsoons ever return? Been about 8 yrs now.
Old 03-18-2013, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by proveick View Post
Will the monsoons ever return? Been about 8 yrs now.
I'll go with 7 years. In 2006 we had a good serious monsoon season, storms most every day. I recall it from the damage it did to our neighborhood, which had poor drainage from a lousy developer.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by proveick View Post
Will the monsoons ever return? Been about 8 yrs now.
The Southwest Monsoon was fairly active in southwest Colorado and much of New Mexico in 2012, beginning at its about normal time of early to mid-July. Had it not been, the fires in those areas would have been much worse in 2012. The simple rule of the Southwest Monsoon is that the farther one goes north or west, the less reliable the Southwest Monsoon is. Some years it will regularly reach into southern Canada, in other it will barely reach into southern Colorado. Same with duration--some years it will begin in early June, some years as late as the third week in July; it can also last into late September, or nearly die off by mid-August.

Spring can be a strange time for weather events in Colorado. Some big precipitation makers occur when large Pacific systems come inland and then collide over Colorado with dry cold fronts from the north. That hasn't happened much this winter because the Pacific systems have been mostly weak and/or pushed northward. That is unlikely to change this spring and is one reason that the drought forecasts going through June are pretty bleak. Sometimes, though, an early expansion of the Bermuda High (which is what causes the Southwest Monsoon) will reach Colorado in the spring months. If that Gulf of Mexico moisture can collide with a cold front from the north, the result will sometimes be some epic precipitation events east of the Continental Divide. Typically, though, those type of storms bring little precipitation to western or southern Colorado in the spring. Excepting some improvement in soil moisture that these storms bring, they do little to help the Colorado water situation. The moisture for most of all Colorado streamflows comes from winter and early spring Pacific systems that bring copious snow to the high country, especially west of the Continental Divide. This is the second winter that has not happened, and the results are going to be pretty awful. A dry, warm, and windy spring that further depletes soil moisture will make a bad situation much worse, and that appears to be where we are headed.

There are two basic kinds of drought--"hydrological," where lack of snowpack causes poor streamflows; and "agricultural," where lack of precipitation depletes the soil and living plants (like trees in forests) of sufficient moisture. Unfortunately, most of Colorado is suffering from both kinds. The former means very limited streamflows, and very limited supplies of water for all who depend on them; the latter means off-the-chart fire danger in forest and brushlands, and near certain failure of many dryland crops. The way that current weather patterns stand, we are going to get most all of that bad news by summer. If this year's Southwest Monsoon is weak and/or late, really bad fire potential could become catastrophically epic fire potential lasting clear to next winter.
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