Friday, June 29, 2012

Colorado burning--

I live in a perpetual campfire. Everything I own smells like smoke right now. Every rainstorm is a blessing and a cruse because though rain is always helpful, lightning is what caused the Flagstaff Fire this week. The last 10 or so days have been chaotic and terrifying. Fortunately my friend's house was spared in the Waldo fire in what can only be called a miracle. And the pre-evac alert was lifted from the west side of Boulder. But the other night, some crazy woman drove by my brother at 1am in our neighborhood and told him Massey Draw, the trail behind our house, was on fire. The whole KC Valley reeked of smoke, so my brother rushed home to warn us. My father called the sheriff and my brother and I drove around looking for the fire. Fortunately it was a false alarm and the smoke was blowing north from the Waldo fire. Nonetheless, it was terrifying. And being as ridiculous as I am, my first thought when my brother ran in the house wasn't what will I save but I don't think my camera is good enough to capture a photo of the blaze in the middle of the night like this.

Things are cooling off for now, but so much has been lost across the state.

[Photo by Augustus Barnes]

Time lapse video of the Flagstaff Fire

From the Boulder Office of Emergency Management:

June 29 - 12:10 p.m. - Smoke The heavy smoke visible in the Boulder Valley and foothills is NOT from local fires. There are many other fires burning in the region which have caused smoke to setlle in the area. Smoke from non-local fires is likely to remain visible for several days.

 June 29 - 11:45 a.m. - Status of Flagstaff Fire Fire Status: Last night, several reports of flare-ups were received as unburned islands of fuel continued to burn well inside the perimeter of the fire. This activity did not threaten the existing containment lines. Today, crews will focus on completing direct fireline along the fire’s north-east, east and south-east edges where appropriate. Existing containment lines along the west and south-west perimeters will be improved, and crews will seek out and extinguish hot spots up to 100’ inside the lines. Aircraft will continue to support crews on the ground throughout the day. Weather today is expected begin to get hotter and drier. Additionally, thunderstorms may develop over the area again today, with the likelihood of erratic winds and lightening, and potential for new fire starts.

Type 1 interagency hotshot crews, trained to work in the most difficult conditions and inaccessible terrain, are the right resources to fight this fire and achieve containment objectives. These crews will continue to work methodically to identify opportunities to construct direct fire line in the safest manner possible. Progress is expected to continue over the next several days as the fire lines are constructed and held by resources in the air and on the ground. Two engines will be patrolling the Bison and Pika Roads as well as roads from Greenbriar to Table Mesa overnight. With containment lines in good shape, it has been determined that hand crews will not be needed overnight.

Resources: Total Personnel: 221 Hand Crews: 4 Engines: 8 Dozers: 1 Water Tenders: 1 Helicopters: 4 No structures have been destroyed by the Flagstaff Fire.

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