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Colorado fires - Page 2

post #31 of 63
I'm glad to hear you are completely safe. I know your fire is a whole lot closer to you than the one over here. It sounds like they are getting more crews up there to work on the Coal Seam Fire. At least it looks like they have a shot at controling it.

Ha...boy, that's not how they are talking about letting people back in on the news. That's completely believable, though. I never have figured out why officials won't give out basic information to the people who need to know it. They always have to put a spin on it and make it seem so hush-hush and classified. It's a fire, for goodness sake - everyone can see it!

They said they had it 5% contained on the back end. The other - maybe - good thing that they aren't reporting is that it is starting to come up on some spots that have already burned this year. My co-worker said that is probably the only thing that could save his home if it comes up that direction (He lives just south of Conifer).

I also thought it was interesting that they said right now rain may be a bad thing for the water supply. Hayman has burned almost all around Cheesman Reservoir which is the main water supply for Denver. So far the reservoir hasn't been contaminated, but if we get a good rain the charred remnants would run into the water supply.
post #32 of 63
What is wrong with some people?!?!?

Some jerk is going up Highway 285, in the same area as the Hayman Fire, intentionally setting fires! Luckily, they have been caught early before they got out of control and put out before they burned much area. You also have to understand, there are a lot of houses and subdivision along that highway. I guess some people will do anything for their 15 minutes of fame.

On the plus side, they now have the full license plate information on the idiots who had the illegal campfire that started this whole mess. Those people are really SOL!
post #33 of 63
Thread Starter 
OMG! Some people! It just makes you wonder what the hell is going through their minds.

I heard yesterday that they weren't releasing any info on the idiot that had the illegal campfire... at the time I thought it was because they didn't want a lynch mob going after them. After hearing the info you gave, Heidi, I imagine they didn't actually know who it was at that time.
post #34 of 63
How is it possible for someone to take joy in trying to destroy people's property-and possibly take lives in the process? That's a sick mind!
post #35 of 63
Remember, a few years ago, the mother who was setting fires, so that her son would get more work? There are a lot of nuts, out there.
post #36 of 63
For anyone still interested, here's the latest update on the fires.

The Coal Seam fire (the one by Jin) is up to 10,000 acres. They said a good way to think about it is that a football field is about 1 acre, to give it some perspective. They said as of last night it is 5% contained, and they are hoping to have it completely contained in about 2 weeks, as long as weather and such cooperate. About 24 families lost their homes to the fire.

The Hayman fire is almost 100,000 acres, or about 140 square miles. The winds are supposed to be shifting today and tonight to the northeast, pushing the fire (hopefully for us) away from Denver. We have made the national main headlines since the fire is the largest, and most expensive fire in Colorado history, and it is encroaching on the southern-most Denver suburbs. So far, it has burned 21 structures, about half of which are homes, the other half being recreational cabins, campground buildings, and outbuildings. It is about 5% contained, but they are not sure if that containment will hold with the wind changing directions and how unpredictable this fire is.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program...
post #37 of 63
Thread Starter 
*cough gasp choke cough cough*

Heidi, I'm really glad that the wind has shifted and is helping control the Hayman fire... but it's choking me! Blech!! The smoke here is just awful. Stinky, smelly, thick, yuck! But I'll be glad to put up with it as long as it's doing some good!

Yup ~ at last count, the Coal Seam fire was 10,424 acres. That was yesterday at noon they were reporting that, though, so I would have to assume it's slightly larger by now. It's cost 4.5 million dollars, and has consumed 28 homes, and apparently 1 business, although no one around here can figure out what business could have been burned down.... And we're still at 5% containment.

Back to you, Heidi!
post #38 of 63
Here I am again, wanting to say something to comfort you, but I can't find words to describe the enormity of this disaster! I just have to keep praying. God can fill in the blanks, because all I can say is, "Oh, Lord!"
post #39 of 63
For those of us not directly affected, i.e. not evacuated, I think the numbness has set in and it is just another fact of life. Yup, there's a huge fire over there. Yup, breathing smoke is how it is. Yup, it sure is bad, hope they can get a handle on things. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do but wait it out and hope the weather cooperates. Of course, all it will take is a change in wind direction, reports that the fire is headed toward Denver, and I'm sure I will hit panic mode again. I'm sure it's the same psychological response that people in war zones have (although obviously not to that extreme), how people in Israel go on with their lives.

My supervisor at work set out a pitcher for donations to help the firefighters, and there has actually been some response here. They desperately need things like chapstick, sunscreen, energy bars, and sports drinks. So with all the money we collect here, she will go and buy those supplies they have asked for. It may not even be a drop in the bucket, but at least we can help a little.

One more feel-good story for the day...Hubby was at a grocery store yesterday and saw some fire fighters in there asking to buy all the Gatorade the could since the store has a buy one get one free promotion now. The manager of the store came out with a whole palate of Gatorade cases and gave it to them, free of charge. He told the fire fighter, "Hey, you guys need it. We can just write it off, so you don't need to bring your money here."

I guess there is some good left in the world after all.
post #40 of 63
Oh, Heidi, that's great! Mankind--Humankind (not as poetic) has an affinity to goodness as well as a weakness in the other direction. Our house burned about 17 years ago, and people were unbelievably good to us. It takes tragedy to unite us sometimes, and the darkness just makes the light seem brighter. We so appreciate our lives, our friends, nature after something like this.
post #41 of 63
They were talking about this on the radio this morning, and I heard it had destroyed approx 90,000 acres now...I assume this is the Hayman one....this is so very sad...I can't imagine the sorrow the owners of this property and all the homes that have been destroyed must feel.
post #42 of 63
Thread Starter 
Yes, the Hayman fire is well over 90,000 acres now, and they're estimating it will take 3 months to contain. I think it was Tuesday evening before this fire actually destroyed a home, but when it did, it took 50 of them out. I also feel just terrible for anyone that's lost a home to this (and any other) fire. From what I understand they're trying to get approval to bring in the military to help fight this fire. Heidi might know more about that than I do, though. Heidi?

The up side: The Coal Seam fire near me is 25% contained! They're making a bit of progress with it. And while some areas are still evacuated, I don't think it will be for much longer, unless the wind changes. (Always a risk!) This fire has destroyed over 11,550 acres at the last count, and has cost over 1.5 million to fight, and cost 4.5 million in damage (estimated) so far.

It is like Heidi said: you just get used to it after a while. That doesn't mean we don't care, it means we have to get on with every day business, and while we keep the fires in the back of our minds, we don't dwell on them because we have to stay sane (relatively).
post #43 of 63
It's so hard to keep up with this stuff because there is so much conflicting information out there. For example, yesterday morning I heard on the radio that it was right about 100,000 acres. Then last night they said 87,000 acres. Yesterday the Forest Service reported that 30 homes had been destroyed on the south side of the fire. Then the Sherrif's Department said no, no homes had been destroyed but 21 structures have been. Then you go to one of the local channel's websites and they say that their helecopters have personally seen more than 20 structures burned, and reports say that there is too much smoke to get any decent estimate as to what buildings and what type of buildings have been destroyed.

There are now two separate command centers for the Hayman fire since it is so big. It appears that the south end has been much more active the past couple of days, so now they are saying the Metro area is out of danger. People, come on. All it takes is a change in wind direction and it comes right back up on our doorstep. I haven't heard that the military has been called in, but I'm sure it will be.

That is very good news about the Coal Seam fire, especially with your Strawberry Days coming up this weekend. Glenwood has a Strawberry Festival every year going back over 100 years. They said that they did it through the Depression and two World Wars and a "little" fire isn't going to stop them! Now that's great spirit.
post #44 of 63
Thread Starter 
Yup, Heidi, there's NO WAY anyone around here is going to give up a weekend of drinking beer in the park! You should come on over! (Nah, it's really not that darn exciting.... just a big crowd, a carnival and a parade.) They claim the Strawberry Daze festival is the oldest annual festival West of the Mississippi. It used to be Glenwood's big claim to fame.... before the Storm King fire 7 or 8 years ago.

I know what you mean about conflicting information! Can't get a straight story from anywhere. I don't even want to mention the 'latest development'... about the cattle... (do you know what I'm talking about Heidi?) *sigh*
post #45 of 63
I heard that too. Unfortunately I think that one is true. What I want to know is, Why didn't someone just cut the darn fence???

Just so we aren't leaving anyone out of the loop, and I will try to make it as non-disturbing as possible. Some cattle were casualties of the fire yesterday, and the firefighters close enough to smell and hear things.
post #46 of 63
Thread Starter 
As I understand it, they DID cut the fence, but they couldn't get the cattle to come out. It's instinctual for them to go where they feel safest... and that's probably the field where they died.
post #47 of 63
I didn't hear that part. That makes more sense now. Pretty sad, but cattle aren't known to be the smartest animals. It's still horrible that it happened.
post #48 of 63
There's actuall a little good news on the Hayman fire. They have had a bit of a break from the weather in the past couple days are are able to go on the offence. The are burning backfires and have dug 40 miles of fire breaks. Hopefully all this will hold. They are still saying it will be a couple months before it is something we don't have to worry about anymore, but they are at least starting to make a little progress.

Area burned as of last night was officially 90,000 acre, with unofficial reports at 99,000 acres.

The Coal Seam fire was 30% contained as of last night, having burned 11,500 acres.
post #49 of 63
I just read about that on CNN.com. That woman is so stupid and careless. She should have known better. I can't imagine causing so much devastation. She will never be able to make up for what she did.
post #50 of 63
Isn't that just utterly amazing? The other ironic part was that she was actually making rounds to tell campers about the fire danger. The sad thing is that I'm listening to the radio and all these people are calling in saying "She made a mistake, but it wasn't intentional. She shouldn't be treated as a criminal." But when we all thought it was someone with an illegal campfire, everyone wanted to string them up. Personally, I think stupidity should sometimes be criminal, and this is definitely one of those cases.

On the plus side, the fire only grew about 3,000 acres this weekend, and they are saying they have it 47% contained. Weather has really cooperated with the almost 2,000 fire fighters.

The Coal Seam fire is about 35% contained, but is still slowly growing. It does look like they have made progress on this fire.
post #51 of 63
Thread Starter 
It's just too ironic for words. Why on EARTH did she decide to burn the letter? Why not just throw it away like a normal human being? Or burn it in the kitchen sink? (I've been known to do that..) I'm sure she figured a piece of paper or two wouldn't be a big deal... but she should know better than anyone a little cigarette butt is a big deal, a flaming piece of paper has got to be much worse than that! I'm sith Heidi - acts of stupidity or ignorance do not excuse you from the law.
post #52 of 63
I heard about the ranger on the radio this morning, and all I could think was "What an idiot!" While some people may think that she deserves more leniency, I think someone who is trained to prevent forest fires should be punished more harshly. The average Joe can at least claim ignorance of how a forest fire works-this woman has no excuse.
post #53 of 63
OMG!! That woman is in some serious trouble!!!!! She has caused so much damage by her stupidity!!!!!!
post #54 of 63
To qoute the news story:
"Barton said she started burning the letter from her estranged husband within a designated campfire ring, where fires normally would be allowed, then tried to put out the blaze."

Nothing can detract from the damage, the heartache, the expense, the danger, caused by this one act. I wonder, just to play devil's advocate, whether she would be punished as severely if she had been making a pot of coffee in this "designated campfire ring." The only illegal act that I can pinpoint is that she lied. A campfire would have been huge, in comparison with one piece of paper. The horrible part, besides the damage, is that this tragedy was caused by an employee, an employee who lied. I wonder why fires were allowed anywhere, considering the dry conditions.
post #55 of 63
Thread Starter 
The law she broke was the fire BAN. The fire would normally be allowed, but not at that time because they had enacted a fire ban to protect the forrest. She obviously knew about the ban, because she was out enforcing the ban!
post #56 of 63
Jin, Thank you. I misread that, overlooked the word "ban," and wondered why fires were still being allowed in designated areas. After re-reading it, I realized if it had been a snake it would have bitten me!! That makes all the difference in the world. I have already donned the dunce cap.
post #57 of 63
I wonder if she can be liable from individuals who lost their homes. Can you imagine the lawsuits for willful neglect of duty?
post #58 of 63
I would hate to have to calculate the amount of money lost! Homes, utility companies lines, firemen's salaries, equipment, lumber, just to mention a few things. Also, there is the health risk to those who get asthma, or for some other reason cannot tolerate polluted air. There is so much to be taken in consideration! It's truly a tragedy.
post #59 of 63
As far as costs go, the last figure I heard was $20 million to fight the fire. There have been 25 homes destroyed, and a number of other buildings.

I know with the Snaking Fire earlier this year, they were going to hold the families of the three young teens who started the fire (by smoking out behind their school, but it was possibly arson - them trying to burn down the school) for at least part of the amount of money it cost to fight the fire. There were no homes lost in that fire, so I don't know how that would turn out for this one. I can definitely see civil lawsuits flying.
post #60 of 63
Bad news for the Hayman fire...it flared up again yesterday. I don't know if this is accurate but I saw on the news last night that they only had it 5% contained as of last night (compared with 47% Sunday night). Really bad winds just whipped it up and it went where it wanted - through fire lines, through the slurry, everything. New evacuations were issued on the south side of the fire. I just read that at one point the fire advanced 1/4 mile in 4 minutes. Just goes to show us a little humility - nature can go through anything us little humans can put up. They haven't posted new totals for the fire, and say that today may be their toughest day. So far, 66 structures have burned including 25 homes. Please keep our fire fighters and the people effected by this in your thoughts and prayers. It will take an act of God at this point to stop this thing.

The Coal Seam fire is now 60% contained. It looks like they have a pretty good handle on that one.

There is another fire in southern Colorado by Durango that is now estimated at 37,000 acres, and burned 8 homes this morning. They said it is 25% contained, but it did jump fire lines yesterday.

Thank you for tuning in to this special Colorado Wildfires news update. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
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