increased fire danger threat #boulder NWS…. fire chief says be vigilant: READ STORY:
Hazardous Weather Outlook
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER CO
1054 AM MDT SAT NOV 06 2010
1054 AM MDT SAT NOV 06 2010
A PERIOD OF GUSTY WINDS IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP IN AND NEAR THE FRONT
RANGE FOOTHILLS LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. THIS ALONG WITH
MUCH ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND LOW HUMIDITIES WILL INCREASE THE
FIRE DANGER THREAT.
Fire Chief Larry Donner Boulder fire chief talks to Boulder Channel 1 news this afternoon.
Larry Donner Boulder fire chief:” People need to have a heightened awareness this weekend. It is very dry out. Though we are not in Red Flag Warning situation which requires high wind and high temperatures, we could go there if the wind picks up. tomorrow, saturday, the temperatures will high enough. Heightened awareness in in order.
We have low moisture so by mid day when the temperatures heat up ‘flashy fuels” such as grass ( these are the ones which burn first) are easily igniteable ”
People need to put defensible space around their homes and not put that work on their to do list. that includes moving firewood and cutting tall grass near homes. Some people think that grass is not much of a threat, but 4 foot high grass can have a crown of ten feet and be very dangerous.
Wildland fire behavior is much like flood water behavior. Fire has currents and eddies. So when you’ll notice that two or three houses in a neighborhood will be burned and one will be left standing, that is most probabluy a result of the currents formed by fires.
residents don’t realize just how dangerous wild land fires can be until it is too late. In the four mile fire we had people on sunshine canyon who didn’t want to leave, but the fire was moving so fast, that though it was a few miles away they waited until smoke and embers forced them out . That is a dangerous situation for everyone. those embers were the size of roof shingles and they were blowing one mile in front of the fire. We can’t stop that.
fire fighters lives are put at risk when residents do not want to leave. They don’t think it is so bad, but if they get in the way of fire fighting efforts, we have to then have to rescue them and in some cases our selves. That was the case in the four Mile fire.
What people need to realize is that if the wind is blowing in a hot wild land fire, The fire is moving at 40 miles per hour. You can’t out run that. It comes up on you real fast and then it is too late.
There have been experiments done in Australia where residents stayed behind to fight wild land fires, but when the fire arrived at their property it was crowning at 10 to 20 feet , moving at 30 to 50 mph, was extremely hot ..and it killed everyone in its path. That’s what we always want to avoid in Boulder.
I scratch my head when I see most wild fires are human caused. People should not be burning anything near open space with conditions like this. this is a very hightened condition for fires..
We have something called “point protection, where we will pick the most likely house to save, but down the road 3 or 4 other houses will burn because of poor space protection, high winds and flying ambers.
So , yeah, this weekend remain vigilant and aware.”