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More than half a dozen large fires burn out of control across Colorado as triple-digit temperatures with low humidity and strong winds make matters worse.

A firefighter works the scene of a home being consumed by flames in Estes Park, Colo. As many as 21 structures were destroyed by the fire on Saturday. Eight separate wildfires are burning across Colorado, which is seeing record-breaking heat. (photo: Darrell Spangler/AP)
A firefighter works the scene of a home being consumed by flames in Estes Park, Colo. As many as 21 structures were destroyed by the fire on Saturday. Eight separate wildfires are burning across Colorado, which is seeing record-breaking heat. (photo: Darrell Spangler/AP)



Colorado Wildfires Rage Out of Control Amid Triple-Digit Temps

By Jenny Deam, Los Angeles Times

26 June 12

 

 

 

ore than a half-dozen large fires continued to burn out of control across Colorado on Monday - and yet another day of triple-digit temperatures with low humidity and strong winds were making matters worse.

"You're reacting to what Mother Nature gives you," said Steve Segin, public information officer at the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center for the U.S. Forest Service. Colorado is experiencing its worst fire season in a decade. "What's different this year is the conditions," he said.

As of Monday morning, nearly 2,000 federal firefighters had joined the effort in Colorado, joining hundreds of state and local firefighters in battling blazes both large and small. More than a dozen small fires erupted on Sunday alone, but most were quickly brought under control.

PHOTOS: U.S. wildfires 2012

The No. 1 priority Monday was the Waldo Canyon fire, just west of Colorado Springs, which has burned more than 3,600 acres and was at zero containment.

Although the fire has claimed no homes, its proximity to a city of nearly a half-million people was worrisome, Segin said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

The entire town of Manitou Springs was evacuated Sunday, but most of the 6,000 residents were allowed to return to homes Monday. The Garden of the Gods park, a top tourist attraction in the area, remained closed.

Elsewhere in the state, the High Park fire, just west of Fort Collins, remained at 45% containment, reduced over the weekend from 60% when a flare-up Friday claimed 57 homes. So far that fire has burned 83,205 acres, severely damaging or destroying 248 homes.

The High Park fire has been the most destructive, and second-largest, fire in state history. It's been blamed for one death, bringing the total number of deaths in Colorado this fire season to four.

As of Monday morning, other fires across the state include the Treasure fire, which has burned 350 acres and was 15% contained; the Little Sand fire, near Durango, which has burned 21,615 acres and was 34% contained; the Stateline fire, near the new Mexico border, which has burned 350 acres and was 15% contained; and the Weber fire, near Mesa Verde National Park, which has burned 6,800 acres and was zero percent contained.

The fire that destroyed 22 homes near Estes Park over the weekend was nearly 100% contained.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning of imminent fire danger for most of the state on Monday, and Gov. John Hickenlooper's statewide ban on open burning continues.

The governor also issued a similar ban on personal fireworks, even though some vendors have already set up tents to sell them. In some counties, authorities say they will vigorously enforce a zero tolerance ban on all fireworks, including sparklers and a type called snakes.

 

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+18 # Valleyboy 2012-06-26 07:54
Not one mention of the words "climate change"

Well done, Exxon-Mobil, you've won.
 
 
+5 # soularddave 2012-06-26 13:10
And it's only June.
 
 
0 # RLF 2012-07-02 04:10
That may be a part of it but beetle kill that has not been taken down covers half of the state making for perfect fire wood. The amount of dead standing trees is incredible! But the beetles do seem to be getting worse with climate change, so you may still be right!
 
 
+7 # CoyoteMan50 2012-06-26 08:10
Like Hurricane Debby over Florida unless we take very active steps to curtail global climate change, these situations will only get worse.
Opps some heads just exploded at EXXON!
 
 
+2 # Majikman 2012-06-26 09:03
Mother Nature will be the ultimate arbiter when she decides she made a mistake and allowed humans to exist.
 
 
+4 # Glen 2012-06-26 11:48
How can any argue with you, Majikman. On this computer's screen saver is the scrolling sentence: Nature Is Waiting For Us to Leave.

Climate issues, pollution, extreme local changes in weather, all of it contributes to what we are experiencing. I remember 1988, that was used as a baseline year for a time, in which fires raged around the planet, drought, amazing weather issues generally, and marked a new era.

Too much atmospheric change and too many humans.
 
 
+2 # Majikman 2012-06-26 13:39
Don't take this as gospel, but I heard that there are some seriously weird dudes cleaning tack and grooming horses.
 
 
+3 # jackinmad 2012-06-26 15:39
Let me guess... 4 of them?
 
 
0 # Glen 2012-06-27 10:25
Hahahaha! Great. "They'll be comin' 'round the mountain when they come..."
 
 
0 # RLF 2012-07-02 04:12
Horses fart, damaging the environment.
 
 
+3 # ronnewmexico 2012-06-26 16:45
Relatedly in North Carolina the legislatures refused to believe in the consensus opinion on sea level rise using informations from a very minority researcher instead.....the y think they can legislate away this thing, its existence. Pretending it will not happen.

It will not wait for our opinion at all, and cares not if we believe in it or not.....real it is, and having more and more impacts.
Those believing the US was exempt as most predictions show us having less negative effect just do not understand to what a extreme negative effect are many to suffer. Our lesser effect is significant indeed.

On the issue...I have lived in these areas 40 years or so...it has simply never been this way...ever.
Some is poor forest management but more so is the lack of winter snowpack and unusually high temperatures and dryness.
One incident or area does not point to global warming, as example the northeast may actually get over time colder as result(the cessation of the Gulf stream).....but many many unheard of events are now occurring every year globally.

The weather underground speaks on this and related issues not available perhaps in nationwide weather reporting....sw ept under the rug is this thing. They are available on the internet under that heading. The climitological community, by vast vast majority, something like 100 to 1, know of this reality. Many voice opinion on that site.
 
 
-1 # Bigfella 2012-06-26 18:24
Must of been all those Nuke tests back in the 1940-50-60's that fried their brains...
 
 
0 # Bigfella 2012-06-26 18:23
I am always staggered when seeing wildfire how close to buildings the scrub is. I live in a very fire prone area and over the last years have fought many wild fires that have burned for months. It is a bit late when the fire front is comming to clear 100 mt+ fire break around buildings of shrubs and trees but we do!
A bulldozer works wonders in open country by stripping the ground of growth and stopping grass fires except in high winds.
Oh I am a greenie but a proper one with brains and keep my place clean and clear of my forest which has burned 2 times in 5 years without any buildings or equipment damaged.
Yes climate change is here with longer doughts and wetter wets but we must live with it until the fools change and start the repair- remember acid rain & the Ozone hole...we in Australia still have ours but it is recovering slowly as will the planet once it is rid of the fleas (US)or at lest drive them down to a managable level. In the mean time adapt and survive by clearing flamable stuff away from your dwelling.
 
 
+3 # Huck Mucus 2012-06-26 18:58
I am a firm believer in man-caused (or contributor to) global warming, so don't get me wrong. But, far less than 0.0006 of the forested areas of Colorado (forget the Great Plains) is on fire. Since the end of the Pliestocene, for 10,000 years, fires ran unchecked. They were started by lightning and Indians. They kept the forests clean of fuels. Then, the forest products industry, who used to own the Forest Service, got on their Smokey the Bear bandwagon, suppressing natural fires for over a hundred years. Now this. All to protect the lumber (to hell with forests). Not to mention all the millions of people who now live here and build their McMansions in the woods. In short, Smokey says: "Let it burn." Remember how beautiful the whole Yellowtone deal worked out?

Oh, and quit breeding.
 
 
0 # Huck Mucus 2012-06-26 20:21
Correction: Less than 0.0028546 of the forested areas of the state.
 
 
+3 # ronnewmexico 2012-06-26 19:40
Continued fire suppression in the US has made manageable fires quite impossible to fight. For almost a hundred years any fire was put out leading to great overgrowth.
Per example to provide any help at all, ten years ago I started clearing brush at my small place....I stopped counting after about a year at 23 pickup loads (6 by 8 ft loads). I have continued but so overgrown is the place it seems I have hardly made a dent in it.

These forests to be healthy need burns every five years or so....otherwise when there is one.....impossi ble it cannot be stopped.

Now they are getting wise to it and actually planning to thin the forests...but the republicans will say that is a social program and way to expensive and a example of big government..... so I expect it will not happen...

They want private concerns to step in and do this for profit But there is not profit to be made in clearing worthless scrub wood. ONly healthy forest with good clean large straight trees for cutting are profitable..... so the will cut them down and say...problem solved. So a excuse it will be for logging.
But fire protection it will not be. Healthy forests are not the ones in need of culling. Some but few remain in the southwest of those.

Such is america...sad.
 
 
+3 # ronnewmexico 2012-06-27 08:20
Colorado springs, has a large fundamentalists christian community surprisingly, and has inhabitants with very large monied interests.

Manitou Springs(next door) is a town built on hillsides basically, of very steep incline, if not stopped prior to reaching it, the town will go in minutes, it is not fire defensible.

Parts of colorado springs are flatfish but some also are built on hillsides and indefensible.
Colorado springs was one municipality that suffered greatly in the crash of 08, having to cut of lighting to parks and such things to make ends meet.

It will be interesting to see if the inhabitants that are occasionally so conservative change their politics now a bit to accommodate big bad federal government doing things like clearing forests.

Probably as in southern new mexico recently they will just blame the fire officials for their tragedy. A republican congressman Stever Pearce claiming he would have done better...next fire I say they put him in charge and see what happens.

All these spikes in climitological activity.....mo re named storms then ever, more fires and bigger fires than ever.....hardly a mention in national media will there be of global warming is my guess.
More threatened in their belief it is not real the more ardently they will irrationally support their positions. Most environmentalis ts walked out in disgust at the climate summit today as I hear it, saying it is a joke.
 

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