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Thread: Wildfires (Durango CO area for instance)

  1. #1
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    Wildfires (Durango CO area for instance)

    In 2017 wildfires burned a record 10 million acres in the US. Will 2018 be a new record?

    I see that in the Durango area, "Fire 416" had forced the evacuation of 1,300 residential structures (all rural, I understand) as of early 6/9/18. At that stage, the fire had spread to 8,700 acres, and it was considered 10% contained. Anecdotally residents of Durango notice a haze, and they say it smells like a campfire outside. I don't believe the location of this fire is a threat to homes inside Durango city limits, but it is currently affecting traffic on Highway 550. Today the weather forecast is for wind speed to average 14 mph, with gusts to 22 mph... kind of like a blast furnace.


    I wonder if the snowpack in the mountains, being 24.19% of the average for June 10, is a factor contributing to the amount of dry fuel.

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    Here in AZ most of the Coconino and parts of the Tonto National Forests are closed because of the lack of rain. We are under, I believe, Stage 3 restrictions. Even smoking a cigarette outside of a vehicle or building will get you talked to, anything worse gets fines. A semi truck drove down a highway dragging some chains and started fires along a 24 mile stretch. It is bad.
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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    It could be a long fire season for parts of the southwest. I think the northern Colorado Rockies had close to average snow pack, but the spring rains ended early and it's been unusual hot and dry for the season. Peak stream and river run off was generally 2 or 3 weeks early for some of the area.

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    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    I'm in Oregon and last year we had a month of wearing masks because of forest fire smoke. Terrible destruction.

    The snowpack was really low this winter so things are dry - but that also means less fuel for the fire.

    Around my town they do a lot of planned burns, starting early spring. I don't know how much good that does, but we hope for the best.

    My SIL is in Durango, but taking a trip away from the smoke soon.

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    Today Durango wind speed is down to 0-1 mph. The air quality reportedly is hazy... Durango is about 10 miles upwind from the site of the fire in Hermosa Township. As of 10 PM Sunday 6/10 19,500 acres had burned, and 2,156 homes had been evacuated. No structures had been lost. The San Juan National Forest will be closed to the public starting on Tuesday 6/12.


    I can imagine a lot of burning between now and the onset of the southwest monsoon around July 13.
    Last edited by dado potato; 6-12-18 at 10:17am.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I noticed they closed all of the San Juan National Forest, which is a huge area, until they get some moisture. Mostly to avoid the risk of another human related fire. First time it's been closed in it's hundred year existence.

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    Glad we are leaving the west coast for our trip. Smoke is miserable for me with my asthma. I sure hope that they get some rain.

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    No doubt there will be fireworks going off in all these dry places even though prohibited.

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    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    All of the National Forest lands in my area of Albuquerque and Santa Fe are now closed. No hiking, most definitely no camping until we get some moisture. It is BAD up where I live. I think we have had one measely rain since last October, and just a dusting of snow last winter. About a week ago we got caught in a wonderful (but very forceful) rain up near Mountainair and we heard Albuquerque got hit too but when we got back to Madrid it had skipped over us...

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    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    Central Kansas has had large range fires the last two years. We are in a bad drought.
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