Colorado Wildfires Update: June 24

The East Peak fire is @ 12,500 acres.

West Fork Complex fire @ 76,000 acres. (more below about this one)

East Fork fire @ 183 acres.

Trickle Mtn fire @ 271 acres.

Ox Cart fire @ 250 acres.

Bull Gulch fire @ 34 acres.

Lime Gulch fire @ 511 acres.

Brush Creek fire @ 400 acres.

Collins fire @ 380 acres.

Wild Rose fire @ 1067 acres.

The Black Forest fire had  2 lives lost, several injuries (nothing serious I hear) and 511 homes destroyed.  28 were partially damaged.  $8.5 MILLION to FIGHT the blazes.  22 SQUARE miles of area were burned – that’s over 14,000 acres.  Black Forest Fire is fully contained and many residents have been allowed back into the area as of this past Saturday.  The Sheriff has reported at least seven break-ins/robberies of homes that were not actually hit by the fire.

The Black Forest Fire is the most destructive fire in Colorado History.

The West Fork Complex fire is the largest thus far.  That fire is out of control, they have zero containment, no one has been injured or killed to our knowledge and no structures have burned as far as anyone knows.    The West Fork Complex fire is actually three fires burning near highways 149 and 160 between Creede, South Fork and the Wolf Creek Ski Area in Southern Colorado. The complex includes the West Fork, Papoose and Windy Pass fires. Their collective perimeters are estimated at 76,000 acres, an increase of about 5,800 acres from estimates earlier Sunday.

The Papoose Fire has burned close to Highway 149, but has stayed west of the highway and had not crossed it.  It is the fire closest to the town of Creede, a town of 300 permanent residents, which is northwest of South Fork.

Fire officials said Sunday that they are still optimistic they can protect the town of South Fork, however pre-evacuation notices were in place for West Fork Road and along East Fork Road.

The fire’s rapid advance prompted the evacuation of thousands of summer visitors and South Fork’s 400 permanent residents Friday, and it could be days before people are allowed back into their homes, cabins and RV parks. South Fork Mayor Kenneth Brooke is estimating that 1,000 to 1,500 people were forced to flee.

The saddest news of all:

Black Forest fire victims were members of Air Force Space Command

“Both were longtime members of Air Force Space Command, supporting critical air, space and cyberspace operational missions from offices on Schriever Air Force Base,” the release said.

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23484369/more-black-forest-fire-evacuees-given-access-their

Black Forest fire Update, 17 June 2013

Colorado fire considered a crime scene

http://q13fox.com/2013/06/17/colorado-fire-considered-a-crime-scene/#axzz2WTvK7Tpw

BATFE now on scene helping investigate the fire.

Now, I’m not an expert on such matters but in general from what I’ve seen and experienced with the military and working in the civilian world when the BATFE shows up usually either “illegal” guns or explosives were involved.

The county Sheriff (Terry Makita) stated that this was a “human caused fire”.  They aren’t saying “accident or deliberate” yet.

Last year’s Waldo Canyon fire (both of these were in view of my own house, one west and one north) was labeled the same.

Monday, 24 hours before the Black Forest Fire started another fire was started on the Air Force Academy (AFA) – and it too is “suspicious”.  National Weather Service has confirmed (as of last Wednesday) there was NO LIGHTNING in the area encompassing both the AFA fire and the Black Forest Fire.  The initial cause of the AFA fire was thought to be lightning, now we know better.

As of this time:

483 homes are gone.

14,973 acres (or thereabouts) is burned.

2 dead (over taken by a fire storm at their home as they were attempting to leave.

THOUSANDS have been evacuated and most of them can’t go home, many have no homes to go home to.

Fire is 65% contained and should be 100% by Thursday or Friday.

Containment, by the way merely means they have held the LINES of the fire.  They have not put it OUT.  It’s not out, it’s not safe to go back in yet.  Even at 100% it won’t necessarily be “safe”.  Until it is out completely, they likely won’t let residents go back in.

In LESS than one year we have had TWO major, devastating fires that have destroyed about 900 homes in the region.  Some were small homes, some were multimillion dollar homes.  Some people who lost homes in the Black Forest Fire ALSO lost their home in the Waldo Canyon fire and had the bad luck to move to Black Forest.

Both of these were apparently set by a human, and chances are damned good at this point they were deliberate.

 

Black Forest Colorado Wild Fire update

As of about 9:00 this morning local time:

More than 15,000+ acres, gone.

More than 360 homes, gone.

38,000 people affected.

94,000 acres of land evacuated now (under mandatory evacuation).

13,000 homes have been affected.

Probably more people are affected than I listed due to smoke inhalation. I know we’ve felt it 360 degrees around the fire.

Black Forest Fire: Collaborative Interactive Google Map

Here’s a link.

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=206132177599720387286.0004dee98b2d544474f6f&msa=0&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=39.04212,-104.684258&spn=0.106661,0.2108&z=12&source=embed

By the way, Looters stay away. You will be shot.  Coloradans aren’t kind to thieves in our area.  This particular part of the state Ain’t the People’s Republic of Boulder, and it ain’t Denver.  Most of us carry weapons, at home, and on our persons.  Also, for the records, there’s a damned lot of cops from all areas there, PLUS armed National Guardsmen.

Colorado Wild Fires Update

Status this morning.

No known deaths or injuries here in town.

The Northern evacuation area has extended northward to County line rd on the North, Highway 83 on the west (slightly east of I25).

The winds are out of the south at 5-12 mph and will likely be out of the south most of the day.

Around 100 homes are gone, severely damaged or with some damage (I think the count I heard last night was 85 total loss)

We had Dc10s, C13-s and helicopters dropping a significant amount of water and an unknown number of firefighters on the lines. About a dozen fire fighting stations (cities, and other areas) are fighting this. The Army National Guard is relieving police forces for area protection to keep looters out.

Down south the Royal Gorge Fire is somewhat contained (I don’t know this morning but was around 25% last night). The bridge has suffered some damage, and 22 buildings on the site are just gone.

The La Veta Fire further south was, at last check about 45% or so contained. At this time no damage to structures has been reported, no casualties.

I do not know the status of the fire in the Pike National Forest up north at this time.

NUMEROUS smaller fires have been reported and extinguished all along the I25 corridor from at least Denver to my north, to the southern border of Colorado……

I have NOT heard jack on if any of them were “deliberate” but I know a lot of people are seriously pissed around here not getting any information about the cause of this fire, and pointing out “we still don’t have the person who started the Waldo Canyon fire!” – I’ve heard that addressed more than once by several different people, both on television and around the area.

 

Current Map as of 0730 Mountain Time:

North Colorado Springs, Black Forest, El Paso, Douglas and Elbert Counties

North Colorado Springs, Black Forest, El Paso, Douglas and Elbert Counties ares affected

 

Here’s a couple of images taken from in front of my own house:

 

Taken from Author's house.

Taken from Author’s house.

BF Fire2