Fire!

By: MrMixon , 10:53 PM GMT on June 11, 2013

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This blog entry is going to be a bit scattershot. I'm just trying to put all the fire info I'm gathering in one spot.

7 News just reported that today was the earliest date since records began in the late 1800s that Denver has ever reached triple-digit temperatures. Humidity is exceptionally low (2-4%) and winds are moderately high and somewhat gusty.

Fire Danger Today:


Three FOUR fires are currently burning in Colorado.

Royal Gorge Fire

Webcam showing a fire that sprung up today near the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado.

Inciweb has started an incident page for the Royal Gorge Fire.



Black Forest Fire

Yet ANOTHER fire in Colorado, this one in El Paso County, has already claimed at least ten homes...



The Black Forest fire is only 15 acres, but is exhibiting "aggressive fire behavior" and is located in a fairly well-developed mountain area. Going to be a long night for some in Colorado.

Geez, live helicopter video from the Black Forest fire shows multiple homes burning... this fire started in a BAD place and conditions aren't expected to improve anytime soon:







Click the images above to go to the live stream.

They are reporting the fire started just about 2.5 hours ago and has already claimed at least 10 structures/homes.

They're now saying it's up to 400 acres in size... from zero.... this thing is a monster.

More screenshots of the Black Forest Fire:







Big Meadows Fire






Klikus Fire

The wind-driven Klikus Fire burning west of La Veta in Huerfano County has burned an estimated 45 or 50 acres.



------------------------
Folks interested in following these stories can use this link to the Denver Channel. They seem to be doing the best job covering the fires today.

The Denver Channel Wildfire Coverage

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24. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
1:50 PM GMT on July 02, 2013
MrMixon has created a new entry.
23. MrMixon
9:14 PM GMT on June 19, 2013


The Chair Rock Fire has prompted evacuation orders for over 400 homes. Temperatures near Conifer are expected to get as high as 84 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Winds as strong as 23 mph are expected to last throughout the afternoon and well into Wednesday night.

More info here.


The fire is approximately in the red circle. The two blue lines show recommended evacuation routes.
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
22. MrMixon
4:44 AM GMT on June 19, 2013
Rare white buffalo born after Royal Gorge Fire



The Royal Gorge Fire inflicted monumental damage on the popular tourist attraction. Most of the buildings at the park were destroyed. Fortunately, the bridge itself was spared.
Despite the dour news, another bright spot appeared in the dark clouds when a rare white buffalo calf was born.
The newborn, appropriately named Smokey, was born at 5:30 a.m. Saturday according to Royal Gorge Park officials.
The recent fire destroyed 3,218 acres along with 48 of 52 commercial structures.
The news about the buffalo birth was posted on the park%u2019s Facebook page. As the rebuilding effort begins, many are taking the appearance of Smokey as a positive sign.
Luckily, careful planning and the creation of a fire safe zone, cleared of trees and brush, enabled every animal to survive the fire.
In numerous Native American cultures white buffaloes are viewed as spiritually meaningful. Adherents to these beliefs frequently involve white buffaloes in religious rites.


kdvr.com
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
21. MrMixon
4:39 AM GMT on June 19, 2013
As Dr. Masters blogged, there was a small tornado at DIA today. Check out the radar picture he posted:



If you want to be a fly on the wall at DIA during the this tornado,

1) go to: http://www.liveatc.net/archive.php

2) Click today (June 18)

3) Click "KDEN Tower" or one of the other "KDEN..." channels (So far I've found the most chatter on "KDEN Public Safety")

4) Click 2000-2030Z (the zulu time of the storm, which I figured out from Dr. Masters radar image of the funnel cloud, which says "20:22 UTC")

5) Click "Submit"

You'll get a page with a little audio player at the top. Depending on the KDEN channel you choose the activity starts around the 15 to 20 minute mark.

Here's a quote from the Tower conversation, which you can either DOWNLOAD HERE or play in your browser using the method I describe above.

Mercury 3510: "That funnel cloud was visible to us coming in on one six left"

It's at about the 21:20 mark


If you go to the KDEN Public Safety recording, which again, you can DOWNLOAD HERE or fetch in your browser using my instructions above, you'll find a couple of interesting quotes, though it's all delivered with an impressive lack of passion:


16:19: "Not seeing an actual funnel cloud, but there is definite tornado activity on the ground just east of the perimeter fence. There's an awful lot of construction workers out here that probably need to get picked up."

18:11 "I am getting heavy hail on the east side."

23:40 "There's another funnel cloud starting to turn right next to the terminal, east side."

-----------------------

Lots of rumbling here right now, but so far very little rain in my neck of the woods. It does look like some areas out on the plains have gotten some decent totals:


Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
20. MrMixon
4:36 AM GMT on June 19, 2013
Current Fire Status as of 11:00pm, Mountain Time, June 18th, 2013:

Black Forest Fire
14280 acres
2,609 still evacuated
502 structures lost
85% containment

Big Meadows Fire
604 acres
0 evacuated
0 structures lost
95% containment

Royal Gorge Fire
3,218 acres
~0 Prisoners from the Territorial Correctional Facility in Canon City started returning today
48 of 52 structures at the Royal Gorge park were lost
100% containment

Klikus Fire
60 acres
0 (I think) evacuated
0 structures lost
100% containment

Ward Gulch Fire
485 acres
0 evacuated
0 structures lost
95% containment

Sources:
9 News
7 News, Inciweb, and Huerfano County Emergency Dispatch, Post Independent
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
19. zampaz
8:41 PM GMT on June 14, 2013
Thank you MrMixon for your blog.
I've been watching the Colorado live feed (below) from the safety of Northern VA. I wonder how long it will take for forests to recover given drought.
I wonder if soot is traveling to Greenland as is hypothesized for soot from other fires in the US.
My thoughts are with you and your community.
People rightly say "We're safe and that is what is important." But this doesn't minimize the sense of loss felt when you lose your home.
KRDO is to be commended for their continuous news stream of the fires.
Live KRDO Stream.

Best of luck, and thanks for the updates!
-z
Member Since: February 2, 2011 Posts: 3 Comments: 904
18. MrMixon
8:28 PM GMT on June 14, 2013
If you're curious about how the green rings in this image happened....



...click the image below to watch an amazing five minute video of some cool cats defending a Colorado home from the Black Forest Fire.




This is how it's done.
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
17. MrMixon
7:15 PM GMT on June 14, 2013
Striking image...


Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc.

BLACK FOREST, Colo. - Some evacuees at the Black Forest Fire had to leave so quickly, they didn't have time to load up and move all of their animals.

7NEWS reported that some of those horse owners spray painted their phone numbers on the animals and set them free, hoping that would help the owners be reunited with their horses in the future.

Source
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
16. Astrometeor
3:16 AM GMT on June 14, 2013
Thanks MrMixon for keeping us posted on this sad news on the fires in Colorado. Prayers to your friend and all Coloradoans affected by these fires.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 100 Comments: 10225
15. MrMixon
3:13 AM GMT on June 14, 2013
Satellite fire detection over the last couple days...



Looks like pretty much the entire Black Forest has burned or will burn to some extent. The fire isn't crowning everywhere, so it's not like the area will be devoid of trees - but it certainly will be different...
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
14. MrMixon
3:13 AM GMT on June 14, 2013
Intelligence and empathy test... failed.

"Discarded cigarettes are blamed for causing two Douglas County fires within the last three days" -Source



(Clarifying note - this article is NOT referring the Black Forest fire. The cause of that fire is still unknown. The author doesn't elaborate on the extent of the two fires caused by the mental midgets who threw their smoldering butts on the ground, but presumably the fires in question were put out before they grew into anything catastrophic).
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
13. MrMixon
3:12 AM GMT on June 14, 2013
Black Forest Fire...


Photo courtesy of Peter McEvoy

15,700 acres burned
38,000 of my fellow Coloradans evacuated from 13,000 homes (including, now, someone I know personally)
>94,000 acres evacuated
360 homes considered a total loss
14 homes partially damaged
79 homes could not be accessed and their status is unknown

2 people dead

0% containment (yes, zero).

Just... ugh. :(
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
12. MrMixon
3:10 AM GMT on June 14, 2013
Sorry to say two people have been found dead in the Black Forest Fire. It's a somber night on the Front Range of Colorado.

------------------------------------------------- ----

"The remains of two people have been found in the burn zone of the Black Forest Fire.

'We have witnesses that spoke to these two people, one at around 4:20 (p.m. Tuesday) and they said they could see a glow to the west. They were packing their personal belongings, trying to get out. At 5 o'clock, there's another phone conversation, the person that they were speaking with said he could hear popping and cracking in the background and they advised they were leaving right now,' Sheriff Terry Maketa said during a Thursday evening news conference.

The victims bodies were found in their garage.

'The car doors were open as though they were loading or grabbing things. All evidence indicates they were planning to leave very quickly 'then the fast-moving fire overcame them,' Maketa said.

Because of the two deaths, a criminal investigation has been launched.

Authorities don't know and haven't had the resources to investigate what caused the fire, but Maketa suspects it may be human-caused."

Source


360 homes are gone, two people are dead, and the fire still burns out of control...
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
11. MrMixon
5:19 PM GMT on June 13, 2013
Current Fire Status as of 11:00am, Mountain Time:

Black Forest Fire
13000 acres
38000 evacuated
360 structures lost.
0% containment

Big Meadows Fire
600 acres
0 evacuated
0 structures lost
0% containment

Royal Gorge Fire
3,162 acres
~1100 - 900 prisoners from the Territorial Correctional Facility in Canon City are still evacuated and 250 folks were evacuated from their homes as of noon today
20 structures lost (sounds like many at the Royal Gorge Park)
20% containment

Klikus Fire
60 acres
0 (I think) evacuated
0 structures lost
75% containment (100% hoped by 2pm today)

Sources: 7 News, Inciweb, and Huerfano County Emergency Dispatch
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
10. MrMixon
3:36 AM GMT on June 13, 2013
Current Fire Status as of 9:00pm, Mountain Time:

Black Forest Fire
8500 acres
9000-9500 evacuated
92 structures lost.
0% containment

Big Meadows Fire
400 acres
0 evacuated
0 structures lost
0% containment

Royal Gorge Fire
3000 acres
~1100 - 900 prisoners from the Territorial Correctional Facility in Canon City are still evacuated and 250 folks were evacuated from their homes as of noon today
20 structures lost (sounds like many at the Royal Gorge Park)
20% containment

Klikus Fire
60 acres
0 (I think) evacuated
0 structures lost
75% containment

Sources: 7 News, Inciweb, and Huerfano County Emergency Dispatch
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
9. MrMixon
3:03 AM GMT on June 13, 2013
Hi Surfeagle. I was wondering the same thing about the fires on wundermap. I don't know for sure what data source they use, but I know the MODIS satellite instrument has seen three of the fires in Colorado (see comment #3).

It's probably worth submitting a question to support about it. Will do so if I get time.
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
8. surfeagle
2:03 AM GMT on June 13, 2013
ty MrMixon for the pictures.

Why can't I see any of the active fires on wundermap?

CBS has pictures dated June 11, 2013
http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-201_162-10017155.html
Member Since: June 13, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
7. MrMixon
11:22 PM GMT on June 12, 2013
Another webcam showing the plume:

Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
6. MrMixon
8:00 PM GMT on June 12, 2013
Pikes Peak Cam showing the Black Forest Fire plume...

Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
5. MrMixon
7:56 PM GMT on June 12, 2013
Live webcam in Falcon, CO pointed towards the Black Forest Fire:

Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
4. MrMixon
7:08 PM GMT on June 12, 2013
There is far too much weather to watch today... I'll probably be at work late making up hours. :)

Latest radar image out of Denver shows that the Black Forest Fire continues to burn this morning... you can see our winds have shifted from westerlies (see post #263) to southerlies...



Unfortunately I'm guessing this ~90� wind shift won't do much to slow the fire and will only serve to spread the fire northwards. Skies are still pretty clear in Denver, but I expect things to thicken up a bit this afternoon as that smoke drifts north.



PS - I found two webcams on wunderground in the Black Forest area. Both stopped recording about 18 hours ago. Their final reported images are ominous...

lspwx's Webcam


sardeson's Webcam
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
3. MrMixon
6:28 PM GMT on June 12, 2013
For folks interested in wildfire news, the website wildfiretoday.com seems to be one of the best out there.

Bill Gabbert posted some interesting images today, including this detailed map of the "big three" fires in Colorado:



He also posted this pretty awesome radar image of the smoke plume from the Black Forest fire (which most of you will recognize as being sourced from wunderground):

Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
2. MrMixon
5:44 PM GMT on June 12, 2013
we're still doing alright (so far) in the northern foothills. Luckily, we've been faring better than the southern foothills in terms of precipitation this spring.



All of the current fires are burning in areas marked as red in the above map, except for the Big Meadows fire which is burning in an area of severe beetle kill (no amount of precipitation will turn those dead trees green, so the antecedent moisture conditions have little effect on fire behavior).

The recent drought monitor map also shows Boulder County and surrounding areas as merely "abnormally dry" whereas areas with active fires are listed as experiencing moderate to extreme drought.



Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
1. MrMixon
5:38 PM GMT on June 12, 2013
Current Fire Status as of 11:30am, Mountain Time:

Black Forest Fire
8000 acres
7000 evacuated
60 structures lost.
0% containment

Big Meadows Fire
300 acres
0 evacuated
0 structures lost
0% containment

Royal Gorge Fire
3800 acres
1000 evacuated (including almost 900 prisoners from the Territorial Correctional Facility in Canon City)
3 structures lost
0% containment

Klikus Fire
60 acres
200 evacuated
0 structures lost
40% containment
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520

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