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Massive Wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico Incinerate 27,000 Acres

Massive Wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico Incinerate 27,000 Acres

A regional drought is being blamed for the intensity of the rapid spread of the fires.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze24R-ouyCA

Massive wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico have already incinerated nearly 30 thousand acres and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes.

A blaze known as the 416 Fire in Colorado’s La Plata County has burned 1,100 acres, US Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen told CNN on Saturday.

The fire, about 15 miles outside the town of Durango, is 0% contained and has forced the evacuations of 1,500 residents, Mackensen said. No structures have been destroyed, he added.

…And a massive fire in Colfax County, New Mexico, had grown to 27,290 acres by Saturday morning and was 0% contained, according to InciWeb, a US government-operated multiagency fire response site. Nearly 450 personnel were battling that fire.

A mandatory evacuation order was in place for the town of Cimarron, where 296 structures were threatened by the blaze, called the Ute Park Fire, according to an update on InciWeb.

The fires had no containment and the cause was under investigation. A regional drought is being blamed for the intensity of the rapid spread of the fires.

Officials also said the fire danger forced the closure of the Santa Fe National Forest Friday morning, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. It will remain closed until conditions improve, the report added.

“Under current conditions, one abandoned campfire could cause a catastrophic wildfire, and we are not willing to take that chance with the natural and cultural resources under our protection and care,” National Forest Supervisor James Melonas said in a statement to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Northern New Mexico has been in a prolonged period of extreme drought. Areas in and around Ute Park are currently in exceptional drought – the worst category – according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Thunderstorms are due in the impacted areas Sunday, though there is some concern that they could cause a new set of problems.

The shifting winds may spread smoke from the fire into southeastern Colorado. The smoke is already creating poor air quality across northeastern New Mexico. Motorists planning to travel on Interstate 25 through the area should remain alert for reduced visibility through the weekend.

“Much needed rain is in the forecast for Sunday afternoon and evening,” Pydynowski said. “However, thunderstorms are also expected and can prove problematic for firefighters by kicking up gusty and erratic winds, along with lightning dangers.”

There is a risk that the thunderstorms also produce damaging winds, hail and flash flooding. Lightning can also strike new blazes outside of where it is raining across New Mexico, southern Colorado and into parts of western Oklahoma and Texas.

In a shock video moment, men share their narrow escape from the Ute Park fire in northern New Mexico.

Prayers are going out to our friends in New Mexico and Colorado.

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Comments

Lemme guess…it’s all Trump’s fault!

The Friendly Grizzly | June 3, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Further guess: “green laws” preventing controlled burns and brush clearing.

rabid wombat | June 3, 2018 at 2:30 pm

For Scouts (or former Scouts):

“Officials with New Mexico State Forestry say Philmont Scout Ranch staff has also evacuated.”

https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/fire-in-ute-mountains-forces-evacuations/4931270/?cat=500

rabid wombat | June 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm

For Scouts (or former Scouts:

“Officials with New Mexico State Forestry say Philmont Scout Ranch staff has also evacuated. KOB has been told that there were no scouts at the camp. However, fourteen outbuildings on the ranch were destroyed. ”

https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/fire-in-ute-mountains-forces-evacuations/4931270/?cat=500

And the ‘evil’ NRA:

“Here’s a look at evacuation centers opening up in the area for residents and local businesses offering free accommodations:

(Snip)

NRA Whittington Center – 34025 US 63 – Raton, NM

Limited number of rooms, RV spaces and tent camping available
No charge for evacuees
Call 575445-3615”

rabid wombat | June 3, 2018 at 2:40 pm

https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/fire-in-ute-mountains-forces-evacuations/4931270/?cat=500

For Scouts (or former Scouts):

“Officials with New Mexico State Forestry say Philmont Scout Ranch staff has also evacuated. KOB has been told that there were no scouts at the camp. However, fourteen outbuildings on the ranch were destroyed. ”

And the ‘evil’ NRA:

“Here’s a look at evacuation centers opening up in the area for residents and local businesses offering free accommodations:

(Snip)

NRA Whittington Center – 34025 US 63 – Raton, NM

Limited number of rooms, RV spaces and tent camping available
No charge for evacuees
Call 575445-3615”

    oldgoat36 in reply to rabid wombat. | June 3, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Philmont Scout Reservation is impacted by this, the fortunate part is the camp is in pre-season mode, but there are a good number of Scouting personnel there, as well as youth, helping to get the camp ready for hiking. It is heartbreaking for me, as I had been there in 2007. In the early 2000’s there was a fire there that destroyed a large swath of forested areas. I know it was slowly coming back, but it will take generations for that to happen.

    The Scouts have well over 100K acres there, a gift from Philips Petroleum founder, and a treasure to thousands of youth and adults who go on treks there of 10 days duration, covering at least 100 miles of mountainous hiking. Being a Scouter for 50 years and counting, this news is heartbreaking. It will probably ruin the trip of a lifetime for many young people. I hope this fire doesn’t take lives.

      Sanddog in reply to oldgoat36. | June 3, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      It’s taken out a dozen structures that were unused. Those were structures that Philmont had considered demolishing. The good news is the entire ranch hasn’t burned and since the winds are pushing the fire to the Northwest, it’s likely to spare more of the ranch. The challenge this year is going to be rerouting hikes that were planned for the burned areas. There’s still plenty of other areas to use.

      Humphrey's Executor in reply to oldgoat36. | June 3, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      My Dad went their in the 40’s. I was there 30 years later. I pray it is spared.

Henry Hawkins | June 3, 2018 at 2:49 pm

“A regional drought is being blamed for the intensity of the rapid spread of the fires.”

Only because the global warming crowd isn’t awake this early on a Sunday. By supper time gLoBaL wArMiNg will have supplanted that stupid ‘regional drought’ explanation made by, um, wild fire experts on the scene.

the long standing “fire suppression” policy of federal & state governments strikes again.

#idiots

    Sanddog in reply to redc1c4. | June 3, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    We actually do a lot of controlled burns here every year. It’s also the policy to let fires burn as long as they can be controlled and don’t threaten human habitation.

Fire is natural in that landscape.

@redc1c4.

And if they don’t “do something“ then they will be blamed by people who build homes in the natural fire zone when those homes burn down. I agree they should let nature manage the fires, as it has for tens of thousands of years. It should be thar you’re going to build a subdivision, then you need to build a huge fire break around it, and the buildings have to be non-combustible, and there has to be no way for burning embers to blow in. But that’s not how we do things, unfortunately.

Man, Legal Insurrection is really behind the ball here.

USA Today provided us a map of ‘Colorado’ with their last story abou tthem!

Why can’t you guys get on their level!

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | June 3, 2018 at 4:22 pm

The 1988 Yellowstone fires that ultimately wiped out about a third of Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres got out of control in part because the experts had built computer models about how forest fires behave. They convinced they could predict how the fires spread and how to manage them. The models failed.

I really like some (not all) of these New York Times Retro Report follow ups.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FjOwwQtzvI

Fires are part of the ecosystem, destroying decaying material, killing insects, renewing growth and providing habitat.

http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/fact_sheets/TheBenefitsofFire.pdf

Obama-like imbeciles who take control of forest management (as well as builders – and the bribed elected officials who permit them build in dangerous areas) allow burn areas to overgrow, creating the conditions for insect infestation and super fires.

The two guys in the video… they weren’t “escaping” anything. They deliberately went around the roadblock to get back to Cimarron after the evacuation had been ordered. They’re idiots.

The area in question which is between Eagle Nest and Cimarron was ripe for a fire this year. 8 months ago, that part of the state wasn’t in a drought but because of the lack of snow this winter, that part of the state is considered to be in exceptional drought conditions today. This is completely normal for us. We’ve cycled between exceptional drought to no drought forever. The problem this year, as we’ve seen many years in the past is the lack of snowfall and spring rains combined with single digit humidity and high winds mean the state is going to burn. Thunderstorms can roll over and produce tremendous lightning but no rain. In the case of the Ute Park Fire, it’s most likely some dumbass who abandoned a camp site and didn’t properly extinguish their fire. There were no lightning strikes in the area last week.

    oldgoat36 in reply to Sanddog. | June 3, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Not defending anyone who might have abandoned a campsite fire, or didn’t properly extinguish it, but ground fires can happen from under ground roots catching fire and not being seen or noticed. These underground fire systems can travel a fairly decent distance from the camp fire ring, and even very experienced campers can not notice the danger, though this is more usual from new campfire sites, not long term use ones. The camp fire shouldn’t have been made in the current conditions, which I would blame them for, but at this point it is hard to know exactly what started this, in extreme dry conditions even a cigarette tossed could have started this.

    It does happen, it is part of the cycle of forested lands, but proper management of lands and creating firebreaks helps contain it to smaller areas. The lands can come back, the fire can help with making the ground fertile, but large swath fires are not desirable, they do create a new ecosystem, but it takes a long time to come fully back.

      Sanddog in reply to oldgoat36. | June 3, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      This particular fire started on private land. Colfax county has been under a burn ban since March. My county has been under a burn ban since April. They’re pretty hardcore about it here, they don’t even allow charcoal BBQs. The counties and the Fed even ban smoking cigarettes outside. We tend to be very serious about fire in a dry state with a lot of forest and grasslands.

@MaggotAtBroadAndWall

A third of Yellowstone was not wiped out. It had a forest fire, which is a natural phenomenon. After a while, the forest grew back, with diseased and dead growth having been burned out.
That land has had periodic forest fires since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Or perhaps even since Nancy Pelosi was born.

    DaveGinOly in reply to beagleEar. | June 4, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    A burned forest here and there is as natural as wet water. When a national park is razed by fire, it is just displaying one of the natural states of all fire-prone areas. It’s just because we’re used to seeing it green that we think when it is burned that it is “unnatural,” when it is actually unnatural for it to not burn now and then.

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