wildfire

Rob Powell, Division Z / via Inciweb and Freemont County Sheriff's Office

TUESDAY UPDATE: Evacuees from the Hayden Pass Fire along County Road 6 in Fremont County will be allowed back to their homes starting Thursday morning at 8.  Those returning home should know heavy timber will continue to burn on the interior of the fire perimeter.

ORIGINAL POST (Monday): Some residents of Fremont County who have been evacuated due to the Hayden Pass Fire are being allowed to return home. 

Inciweb

The Hayden Pass Fire burning in Fremont County spans 16,414 acres.  The Fremont County Sheriff's office says the lightning-caused wildfire is now 30% contained.  908 personnel continue to work on the incident. 

Residents of CR 1A, the Eagle Peak Subdivision, CR 40 and the Fox Creek Subdivision will be allowed to return to their homes Tuesday morning, July 19, beginning at 8 AM.  The Fremont County Sheriff's Office requests those residents first go to Cotopaxi High School from 4-8 PM Monday for a registration, or from 8-noon Tuesday morning.

Inciweb

The weekend post for this incident is here

Inciweb

Friday's post about this incident is here

Inciweb

Thursday's post about this incident is here.

Inciweb

Wednesday's post for this incident is here

Mike Blakeman / USFS

Tuesday's post for this incident is here.

Fremont County Sheriff's Department

Monday's post for this incident is here.

Environment Colorado / Screen Grab

An environmental advocacy group has a new interactive extreme weather map that charts natural disasters across the nation and in Colorado. 

Deputy Chief J. Petersma / Falcon Fire Department

Crews from several El Paso County area fire departments responded to a grass fire in the eastern part of the county Tuesday afternoon.  The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says its dispatch office sent out nearly 130 reverse 911 calls to nearby residents, and a voluntary evacuation was put in place for residents bound by Shear, Edison, Fossinger, and Yoder Roads.

A study of the 2012 Waldo Canyon wildfire recommends that crews fighting similar fires that spread into urban areas be trained in both structure protection and traditional wildland firefighting tactics. 

Alex Maranghides, fire protection engineer for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST says the investigation shows defensive measures specifically designed for the wildland urban interface, or WUI, can benefit firefighting efforts.

Monday Newscast, 11/2/15, 5:32 PM

Nov 2, 2015

Newscast for Monday, November 2, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

Friday Newscast, 10/16/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 16, 2015

Newscast for Friday, October 16, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

Thursday Newscast, 10/15/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 15, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, October 15, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

Wednesday Newscast, 10/14/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 14, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

After a mild and wet spring, temperatures along the Front Range are expected to soar this week and that has fire managers on edge. The Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture are using this lull in the fire season to call for changes in how the federal government funds wildfire suppression.

While Colorado has experienced much needed rain, fire officials are still expecting an average fire season.

Flickr / Creative Commons

The new aerial fire fighting research center in Rifle opened this week with a ribbon cutting.  Melissa Lineberger is the director of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting, and recently spoke with KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh about her experience with wildfires and her vision for the program.
 

CSFD Twitter (@CSFDPIO)

UPDATE: 01/29/15, 9:41 AM: CSFD released official details of the fire last night.  It burned a total of 5.92 acres, with five agencies responding: Colorado Springs Fire Department, Colorado Springs Utilities Wildland Team, El Paso County Wildland Team, Pike National Forest Fire, Broadmoor Fire Rescue.

UPDATE: 01/27/15, 5:29 PM:  CSFD spokesman Captain Steve Oswald says a juvenile's misuse of a lighter caused the fire.

ORIGINAL REPORT:

Investigators say there’s not enough evidence to file charges in connection with last year’s devastating Black Forest Fire.

Prescribed Burn Set for Florissant Fossil Beds Region

Oct 8, 2014

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is planning a prescribed burn of 180 acres starting Monday.
 

The goal is to minimize fuel levels, mitigate wildfire risk, and to help protect the communities surrounding the monument. The fuels are mainly ponderosa pine and grass.

Florissant Park Ranger Jeff Wolin says there are specific conditions that need to be met before the project can start.

Kate Perdoni / KRCC

It’s been over a year since the East Peak fire in Huerfano County challenged the largely rural area’s resources. It came at a time when other fires were burning throughout the state, including the devastating Black Forest fire. Huerfano County’s volunteer fire protection district was the first responding agency to the southern Colorado blaze. KRCC’s Kate Perdoni reports on the challenges of the volunteer agency in the wake of the East Peak fire.
 

Colorado's Volunteer Firefighting Corps Face Staffing Issues

Sep 2, 2014
Joe Mahoney / Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

Volunteer firefighters protect about half of Colorado’s residents, with solely volunteer departments being responsible for about 70 percent of the state’s land surface.

And they are significantly understaffed.

The Colorado State Fire Chiefs Association estimates that Colorado is short 3,500 volunteers in meeting National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. That would require an increase of more than 40 percent to the present force. 

Phil Riggan

Colorado’s legislature this year created the state’s own air fleet for fighting wildfires. The endeavor includes four helicopters, two single engine air tankers, and two PC-12 single engine planes equipped with new thermal imaging technology.  The move has put Colorado at the forefront of utilizing advanced technology to battle the destructive blazes.  Reporter Ryan Maye Handy wrote a series of articles for the Colorado Springs Gazette about this new technology.  She spoke with KRCC's Andrea Chalfin about it.
 

The Bureau of Land Management is finalizing an updated fire management plan for the Front Range. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.
 

The Royal Gorge office has divided the Front Range into Northeast and Royal Gorge planning areas, with the latter including Las Animas, Pueblo, and Fremont Counties. Changes to the fire management plan include more thinning, seeding and controlled burns. Ed Skerjanec is the Fire Mitigation and Education Specialist for the Bureau. He says the new plan looks to be more flexible and widespread:

The majority of crews battling the Eightmile fire are being released today. KRCC’s Dana Cronin reports.

Fire officials say due to cooperative weather, the lightning-caused blaze is now 65% contained, with the remaining perimeter located in inaccessible terrain. One fire crew, two engines, and a helicopter will remain with the fire, which spans over 500 acres. There’s been one heat related injury. Phantom Canyon Road between mile markers 4 and 12 remains closed.

Google Maps / Inciweb

UPDATE: According to a Tuesday morning press release, the pre-evacuation notice for those 16 residences in the Red Rocks subdivision was lifted around 8 PM last night, though Phantom Canyon Road remains closed.  Containment remains at 40%.

UPDATE: As of around 8 PM Monday evening, the fire is about 40% contained.  Pre-evacuation notice remains in effect for 16 residences in the Red Rocks subdivision; Phantom Canyon Road remains closed.

Original Post: 

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The Colorado Department of Natural Resources is offering $3.9 million in grants to help reduce the risk of wildfire. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports. 

This is the third round of funds awarded to groups like non-profits and utilities that strive to reduce the effects of wildfire on communities.

The program is focused on mitigation projects that help protect infrastructure, water supplies, and property, according to Lisa Dale with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office released a report looking at the response to the Black Forest Fire Tuesday, nearly one year to the day after the devastating fire began. 
 

The After Action Report [.pdf] details what went right during last year’s fire, and where there’s room for improvement.  Maketa said they applied lessons learned from the previous year’s Waldo Canyon event, including providing a quicker flow of information to those displaced.

Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

Next Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary since the start of the massive Black Forest Fire. The blaze scorched over 14,000 acres, destroyed around 500 homes and killed two people.

The non-profit Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association says after revised estimates of loss, the fire is now the second-costliest wildfire in state history.

RMIAA director Carole Walker says the initial estimate of $292 million has been increased to $420 million dollars in losses. 

U.S. Forest Service

Forest Service land closed due to the Waldo Canyon Fire will remain restricted for some time. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

The US Forest Service has extended closure orders, saying the canyon requires more maintenance and time to re-grow. The area to remain closed includes the Waldo Canyon Trail along Highway 24. Work there is expected to continue through the summer. There is a maximum 5,000 dollar fine in place for trespassing in the closed areas.

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