Posts tagged wildfire
“Spring is a great time of year to get out on your land and begin preparing your property for wildfires.”
Boulder County, Colo. – The Boulder County Forest Health Initiative is pleased to announce the Community Forestry Sort Yard operating schedule for 2013. Two sort yard locations are open each summer to provide residents a free of charge location to dispose of logs and slash cut from their land.
The sort yards do not accept yard clippings, raked up pine needles, root balls, construction materials, dirt, furniture, household trash or wood with metal in it. Sort yard staff will refuse loads that contain unacceptable items.
Allenspark/Meeker Park Sort Yard
- Spring hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 24th thru June 15th
- Summer/Fall hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 30th thru Oct. 19th
Nederland Area Sort Yard
- Spring hours: Tuesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 1st thru July 6th (closed July 4th)
- Summer/Fall hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20th thru Oct. 12th (these dates are tentative)
The Community Forestry Sort Yards may have additional closures during the open season due to weather, staff training or other administrative requirements. To check the operational status of a sort yard please call 303-678-6368.
Boulder County encourages all of its residents to be good stewards of their backyard forest and to implement effective wildfire mitigation on their land.
“The spring is a great time of year to get out on your land and begin preparing your property for wildfires,” said Ryan Ludlow outreach forester with the county’s Land Use Department. “Simple actions like picking up downed branches, raking away all pine needles within 5 feet of your structures, cutting tall dead grass and moving leftover winter firewood piles off of porches and placing them at least 30 feet away from the home can really help improve the chances of your home surviving the next wildfire.”
If you want to learn more about how to implement effective wildfire mitigation on your land join us at the Nederland Community Center on May 11 for a half day workshop focused on “Firewise Landscaping.” Learn how to transform your home’s perimeter into an area that you can not only use, but also looks good and helps protect your home from wildfire.
For more information about the sort yard program or how to implement proactive wildfire mitigation on your land, contact Ryan Ludlow, Boulder County Forest Health Initiative’s outreach forester, at 720-564-2641 email@example.com.
CU-NOAA study provides first direct evidence of
heat-trapping effects of wildfire smoke particles
When the Fourmile Canyon Fire erupted west of Boulder in 2010, smoke from the wildfire poured into parts of the city including a site housing scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Within 24 hours, a few researchers at the David Skaggs Research Center had opened up a particle sampling port on the roof of the building and started pulling in smoky air for analysis by two custom instruments inside. They became the first scientists to directly measure and quantify some unique heat-trapping effects of wildfire smoke particles.
“For the first time we were able to measure these warming effects minute-by-minute as the fire progressed,” said CIRES scientist Dan Lack, lead author of the study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers also were able to record a phenomenon called the “lensing effect,” in which oils from the fire coat the soot particles and create a lens that focuses more light onto the particles. This can change the “radiative balance” in an area, sometimes leading to greater warming of the air and cooling of the surface.
While scientists had previously predicted such an effect and demonstrated it in laboratory experiments, the Boulder researchers were one of the first to directly measure the effect during an actual wildfire. Lack and his colleagues found that lensing increased the warming effect of soot by 50 to 70 percent.
“When the fire erupted on Labor Day, so many researchers came in to work to turn on instruments and start sampling that we practically had traffic jams on the road into the lab,” Lack said. “I think we all realized that although this was an unfortunate event, it might be the best opportunity to collect some unique data. It turned out to be the best dataset, perfectly suited to the new instrument we had developed.”
The instrument called a spectrophotometer can capture exquisite detail about all particles in the air, including characteristics that might affect the smoke particles’ tendency to absorb sunlight and warm their surroundings. While researchers know that overall, wildfire smoke can cause this lensing effect, the details have been difficult to quantify, in part because of sparse observations of particles from real-world fires.
Once the researchers began studying the data they collected during the fire, it became obvious that the soot from the wildfire was different in several key ways from soot produced by other sources — diesel engines, for example.
“When vegetation burns, it is not as efficient as a diesel engine, and that means some of the burning vegetation ends up as oils,” Lack said. In the smoke plume, the oils coated the soot particles and that microscopic sheen acted like a magnifying glass, focusing more light onto the soot particles and magnifying the warming of the surrounding air.
The researchers also discovered that the oils coating the soot were brown, and that dark coloration allowed further absorption of light, and therefore further warming the atmosphere around the smoke plume.
The additional warming effects mean greater heating of the atmosphere enveloped in dark smoke from a wildfire, and understanding that heating effect is important for understanding climate change, Lack said. The extra heating also can affect cloud formation, air turbulence, winds and even rainfall.
The discovery was made possible by state-of-the-art instruments developed by CIRES, NOAA and other scientists, Lack said. The instruments can capture fine-scale details about particles sent airborne by the fire, including their composition, shape, size, color and ability to absorb and reflect sunlight of various wavelengths.
“With such well-directed measurements, we can look at the warming effects of soot, the magnifying coating and the brown oils and see a much clearer, yet still smoky picture of the effect of forest fires on climate,” Lack said.
Forest Health Outreach Program offers tips and tools for landowners
Boulder County, Colo. – The Boulder County Forest Health Initiative is pleased to announce that the Nederland Community Forestry Sort Yard will reopen to area residents on Saturday, Aug. 4.
The sort yard, located at 291 Ridge Road just north of Nederland, will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, through Oct. 20.
Boulder County operates two sort yards each summer in order to provide residents a free of charge location to dispose of logs and slash cut from their land. The Allenspark/Meeker Park area sort yard, located on the Peak-to-Peak Highway just north of the Boulder-Larimer county line closed for the season on July 7.
The widely popular sort yard program has experienced increasingly high usage since it first started accepting material in 2008.
“It was truly amazing seeing so many landowners taking action to prepare their homes for future wildfires,” sort yard manager Wayne Harrington said. “This summer we have seen a nearly constant stream of traffic with trucks, trailers, and even Subarus filled to the brim with slash and logs.”
Why should forest landowners be interested in this county service?
The county’s Forest Health Outreach Program for private landowners has been actively encouraging all forest landowners to be good stewards of their backyard forest. The county recommends all landowners create effective defensible space around their homes, aggressively fight bark beetle infestations, and otherwise create healthy sustainable forest ecosystems on their land.
Community forestry sort yards are one tool available to help landowners effectively manage their forested lands. A major hurdle many landowners face when implementing effective mitigation on their land is what to do with leftover slash and logs.
Learn more about wildfire mitigation and bark beetle management
The county works with local fire protection districts, communities and agency partners to offer local community forestry trainings and workshops on wildfire mitigation, bark beetle management and forest restoration. Residents can connect with the Boulder County Forest Outreach Program for private landowners by visiting www.BoulderCounty.org/ForestHealth.
One of the best ways to stay connected about upcoming programs is to sign up for the forest health listserv at www.BoulderCounty.org/ForestHealth. Once signed up, individuals will receive periodic forestry tips of the day, information about upcoming forestry trainings, and other information directly related to managing a backyard forest.
In addition, county outreach forester Ryan Ludlow is available to help answer individual forestry questions and can help set-up free mini neighborhood forest management workshops at a home or at larger community trainings for HOAs, towns and neighborhoods. Give Ryan a call at 720-564-2641 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forest Landowners are also encouraged to work with the Boulder District of Colorado State Forest Service to implement effective mitigation on their land. CSFS is the lead state agency providing forest stewardship and wildfire mitigation assistance to private landowners. Contact the Boulder District of CSFS at 303-823-5774.
To learn more about how to create and maintain effective wildfire mitigation on personal property visit http://csfs.colostate.edu/pages/wf-protection.html orwww.firewise.org.
To learn more about bark beetle management visit www.BoulderCounty.org/ForestHealth and open the “Bark Beetle Inspector Identification and Treatment Field Guide” or visit http://csfs.colostate.edu/pages/mountain-pine-beetle.html.
Someone needs to ask Boulder fire chief — county sheriff — city manager …
….DOES the possibility of increased wilderness usage by homeless people –
people who may have been affected or influenced by Boulder’s new rules
banning people from parks at night — indicate a higher risk of fire?
In fact, there’s no other conclusion that can be reached.
It should be pointed out that stating an increased risk is not bashing the homeless.
If someone is outdoors and physically exposed, and there are limited options,
a fire is something very useful, even if it is in violation of an ordinance.
Also, the circumstances that can lead to a campfire turning into a wildfire
can be as simple as leaving the fire unattended when it appears to be out –
and it’s a phenomena that need occur only in an extremely small fraction of all
instances of people using an outdoor fire to create a disaster, which is not to call homeless people
as a group “firebugs.”
If I’m not mistaken, the Fourmile and/or Dome fires were considered likely to have
been caused by outdoor campfires, according to sheriff Pelle.
The city of Boulder, and soon to be city of Denver, it appears, are enacting
ordinances which essentially ask homeless people to disappear.
One has to consider the availability of “disappearable” locations –
our wilderness areas comprise, geographically, the largest subset of
disappearable locations. It should also be noted, the new rules and
regulations — and the anti-camping ordinances — are essentially a violation
of civil rights, putting people in harm’s way without recourse.
Whilst officials tell their constituents they are “cleaning up” the homeless problem;
facts are, a wildfire caused by a homeless person who might have otherwise
stayed in a city park, without a fire, but closer to basic services –
would be a horrible boomerang effect — not a small price to pay for
relying on law enforcement to solve a social crisis.
People need to open their eyes — not because the homeless
somehow threaten to burn down Colorado, but because
the risk of fire is substantial enough that the only prudent thing
to do under these circumstances is everything in our power
to lessen risk. It would be one thing if every homeless
person represented a lost tree. The mathematics of the risk, in this case,
indicate that it could be one non-malicious homeless person out of thousands causing
the loss of a forest or homes or lives. That increased risk, in light of the new
laws, is a serious issue. The risk situation is analogous
to nuclear power safety. It’s perfectly safe, except when it isn’t.
Put another way, although many thousands of matches
may be lit that do not lead to a forest fire, it still takes only one lit match.
Another aspect, of equal concern I’m certain,
is that putting people into the wilderness — which is simply an obvious possible
result of the anti-homeless ordinances — exposes them to a spectrum of dangers.
People die out in the wilderness all the time for lack of food, water, warmth
or emergency medical services.
The immediate solution is to suspend enactment of ordinances
banning people from public places. If Boulder or Denver residents find the presence of homeless
people inconvenient or unpleasant, then solutions that don’t involve making them “disappear”
must be sought.
Rob Smoke is a political columnist for Boulder Channel 1 often writing about city politics. Rob is a critic and one man watch dog of the council and has been for over 20 years. He has been a writer and journalist for many local papers. Tuesdays nights he can be found at Boulder city council meetings.
Wildfire Awareness Month kicks off with Saturday workshop
Boulder County, Colo. – October is Wildfire Awareness Month in Boulder County and will feature a full slate of educational programs and events, community mitigation and forestry thinning efforts, and the launch of the Boulder County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
A free half-day wildfire mitigation workshop in Nederland on Oct. 1 will help guide county residents through a checklist of modifications they can make to better prepare their homes in defense of a wildfire.
“Nearly half of Boulder County is forested and at high risk for wildfires,” Boulder County Community Wildfire Protection Planner Jim Webster said. “Population growth in the forested areas has resulted in an increased risk of wildfire and in more direct impacts to residents, so we want to help people take a role in preventing and preparing for future wildfires.”
Wildfire mitigation measures can help minimize the destructive effects a wildfire has on forested lands and homes in the wildland urban interface and the following Wildfire Awareness Month events were developed to educate residents and promote action to reduce the frequency and severity of future wildfires in Boulder County:
Walker Ranch Fire Ecology Hike
Meyers Homestead Trailhead
Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-noon
Wildfire Preparedness & Planning Workshop
Nederland Community Center
Oct. 1, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
REI Fire Series Presentation: The Effects of Fire on Soils
Aug. 22, 2011
SOUTHERN SOUTH AMERICAN WILDFIRES
EXPECTED TO INCREASE, SAYS CU STUDY
A new University of Colorado Boulder study indicates a major climate oscillation in the Southern Hemisphere that is expected to intensify in the coming decades will likely cause increased wildfire activity in the southern half of South America.
The research team used tree rings dating to 1506 to track past wildfire activity in the forests of Patagonia tied to the Southern Annular Mode, or SAM, a climate oscillation that creates low atmospheric pressure in the Antarctic that is tied to warmer and drier conditions in southern South America. The tree rings showed that when SAM was in its positive phase, there were widespread fires in both dry woodlands and rainforests in Patagonia, a region that straddles Argentina and Chile, said CU-Boulder Research Associate Andres Holz, lead study author.
“Our study shows for about the past 250 years, the Southern Annular Mode has been the main driver in creating droughts and fires in two very different ecosystems in southern South America,” said Holz. “Climate models suggest an increase in SAM beginning in the 1960s due to greenhouse gas increases and Antarctic ozone depletion probably will cause this region to be drought-prone and fire-prone for at least the next 100 years.”
A paper on the subject by Holz and CU-Boulder geography Professor Thomas Veblen was published in Geophysical Research Letters.
Holz and Veblen compared past wildfire records for two ecologically distinct regions in Patagonia — the relatively dry region of southern Patagonia in Argentina and the temperate rainforest of Patagonia in northern Chile. While the tree ring historical record showed increased fires in both regions correlated with a positive SAM, the trend has been less pronounced in northern Patagonia in the past 50 years, likely because of fire-suppression efforts there, Holz said.
But the decades of fire suppression have caused the northern Patagonian woodlands to become denser and more prone towildfire during hot and dry years, Holz said.
“Even in areas of northern Patagonia where fire suppression previously had been effective, record surface areas of woodlands and forests have burned in recent years of extreme drought,” said Veblen. “And since this is in an area of rapid residential growth into wildland-urban interface areas, this climate-driven trend towards increasing fire risk is becoming a major problem for land managers and homeowners.”
The two CU-Boulder researchers studied reconstructions of tree rings going back more than 500 years from 432 trees at 42 sample sites in northern Argentina and southern Chile — the largest available data set of annual, readable tree ring records in the Southern Hemisphere. The tree rings, which indicate climate cycles and reveal the scars of old fires, showed that wildfires generally increased in both regions when SAM was in its strong, positive phase.
Although the Antarctic ozone hole stopped growing in about 2000 as a result of a ban on ozone-depleting gases and now appears to be slowly repairing itself, a 2011 paper by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder indicates ozone recovery and greenhouse gas influences essentially will cancel each other out, preventing SAM from returning to its pre-1960s levels.
“Before the Industrial Revolution, SAM intensified naturally at times to create drought situations in Patagonia,” Holz said. “But in the last 80 years or so, the natural variation has been overwhelmed by a bias toward a positive SAM phase because of ozone-depleting chemicals and greenhouse gases we have put in the atmosphere.”
The research effort was supported by the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, the CU Beverly Sears Small Grants Program and the Council on Research and CreativeResearch of the CU Graduate School.
“As warming and drying trends continue, it is likely that wildfire activity will increase even in woodland areas where fire suppression has previously been effective,” Holz and Veblen wrote in Geophysical Research Letters.
City officials are teaming up with the University of Colorado to remind Boulder residents that all fireworks are illegal within city limits. Illegal fireworks include: sparklers, snaps, snakes, bottle rockets, Roman candles and smoke bombs. The fireworks ban has been in place since 1985.
Boulder police will have extra patrols out over the July 4th holiday. Anyone caught using fireworks could face penalties that include arson charges, heavy fines, court costs, loss of property, possible jail time and personal injury damages. CU students who violate the ban could be sanctioned by the University of Colorado’s Office of Judicial Affairs.
Fireworks were outlawed because they pose dangers to humans, pets, property, and the environment. Boulder Fire Chief Larry Donner encourages residents to celebrate the holiday safely. “Fireworks can be very dangerous and unpredictable. They often cause serious injuries. Nationally, children suffer the lion’s share of fireworks related injuries. In addition, there is the ever-present danger of starting a disastrous wildfire on our open space,” says Chief Donner.
The city will host a professional fireworks show on July 4th at Folsom Field. Admission to Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast is free. Gates open at 8:00 p.m., and the show is scheduled to begin around 8:30 p.m.
Anyone who has illegal fireworks and who wants to dispose of them will be granted amnesty if the fireworks are brought to any Boulder fire station. To report fireworks violations, residents are encouraged to call the non-emergency dispatch line at 303-441-3333. To report a fire, always call 9-1-1 and give the location.
Cigarette smoking, burning forests and even cooking fires all release a chemical compound not previously known to exist in significant quantities in smoke and which may have potential human health impacts, says a new study involving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado Boulder.
The study was conducted by scientists at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES — a joint institute of CU-Boulder and NOAA — along with researchers from NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory.
The molecule, isocyanic acid, is similar to methyl isocyanate, the gas that leaked from a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, in 1984 killing more than 3,000 people within weeks. “The molecule has hardly been measured before — certainly not in the atmosphere,” said CIRES Fellow Joost de Gouw, coauthor of the new paper published May 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “So it was a complete surprise to find it in such large quantities.”
De Gouw and his colleagues were first able to detect isocyanic acid when they developed and tested a new instrument, a mass spectrometer designed to measure gaseous acids in the air. In the laboratory, they found biomass burning — the burning of trees or plant material — produced levels of the molecule approaching 600 parts per billion by volume, or ppbv.
“There is this molecule in smoke that we can now measure and it is there in significant quantities,” de Gouw said. “There are good reasons to believe that it can have significant health impacts.”
In the human body, isocyanic acid dissolves to form charged cyanate molecules, and the researchers found that the acid was very soluble at the pH level of human blood. This means it could potentially enter the bloodstream, said de Gouw. When the exposure levels of isocyanic acid are greater than 1 ppbv, the charged cyanate molecules are expected to be present at levels that can contribute to a variety of human health problems like cardiovascular disease, cataracts and rheumatoid arthritis.
Once the researchers discovered that fires produced the gas at the U.S. Forest Service Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Mont., they then took their instruments out of the lab to see whether smoke in a “real” environment also gave off this chemical. “We had a new tool to look around us and we just explored,” de Gouw said. “It was basically our chemical curiosity at work.”
Previous studies have shown that burning coal produces isocyanic acid, and the CIRES researchers have discovered the chemical also is present in tobacco smoke and smoke from the combustion of other plant materials. In rural areas of developing countries where biofuels are used for cooking and heating, exposure levels of the acid could be harmful, according to the research team.
But does a real fire, as opposed to a lab fire, give off the acid? The team didn’t have to wait long to find out. Starting on Labor Day 2010, the Fourmile Canyon wildfire raged in the foothills above Boulder, Colo., burning more than 6,000 acres and destroying 169 homes. Scientists at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder wasted no time in learning what they could about the event.
The team’s spectrometer detected levels of the acid up to 200 pptv in the air at the site, which was downwind from the fire. “Boulder has a world-class atmospheric chemistry building and only once in its lifetime is it going to have a full-on hit from a wildfire,” de Gouw said. “So just about everyone in that building turned on their instruments.”
One possibility was that the acid would only be prevalent in the immediate vicinity of a fire, de Gouw said. “But that didn’t happen,” he said. “We were miles away and it was still there.”
The researchers didn’t constrain their measurements to wildfires. They also used their equipment to find the levels of isocyanic acid in the urban environment of Los Angeles. “In LA we find even when there are no fires there is a little of this acid,” de Gouw said. “So smoke may not be the only source of it in the atmosphere.”
Since more isocyanic acid was measured in the atmosphere during the day, sunlight could be sparking the chemical reactions that make it, de Gouw said. Another potential source in urban air could be emissions from diesel engines outfitted with the latest generation of pollution control equipment that is now being introduced in California and Europe, he said.
“We know so little about isocyanic acid’s behavior in the atmosphere that we want to do a number of follow-up studies, “ de Gouw said. “We have some data in our paper but that is just the beginning and we need to do a lot more work.”
Other authors on the PNAS paper included Jim Roberts, Patrick Veres, Anthony Cochran, Carsten Warneke, Ian Burling, Robert Yokelson, Brian Lerner, Jessica Gilman, William Kuster and Ray Fall.
‘MISSOULA, MT, May 3, 2011 –/WORLD-WIRE/– The International
Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) announces Global Wildfire
Awareness Week, from May 1-7, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere, with a
theme of “Your Home…Your Responsibility.
Wildfire affects residents, businesses and governments on every
continent and we are using our resources to link and assist those
groups,” said IAWF President Chuck Bushey. “This is a key time to
share wildfire prevention information with the world,” he added. The
IAWF’s full proclamation and a growing body of resources are available
on a new website – wildfireworld.org — orientated towards
homeowners, firefighters, communities and governmental organizations
throughout the world.
We are excited to globally link wildfire professional to share
information, research, and practical tools in the effort to reduce
wildfire impacts,” said Bushey. This dynamic site allows sharing of
community wildfire profiles, fire prevention materials and real-time,
global fire occurrence information. “The site will build as time
goes on and will become more vibrant with submissions from all parts
of the globe,” he continued. The Southern Hemisphere Awareness Week
kicks off October 1.
This initiative grows from IAWF’s mission to foster leadership and
communication for the wildland fire community. This bi-annual
campaign seeks to expand IAWF’s commitment to wildfire prevention
around the globe. As the Proclamation notes, “Our vision is a
global society that is not only vigilant but also knowledgeable on
how to live in fire-prone environments. We ask for your
participation, not only through this week, but throughout the
“Wildfires are a growing problem, globally and locally,” said
IAWF Board Member Ron Steffens. “The first year of Global Wildfire
Awareness Week we are building a clearinghouse of current, evolving
information.” The new site showcases community profiles such as
Greece, home to massive wildfires in 2010, and Washington state
(USA), with more profiles being added over the coming months. Fire
prevention and home safety evaluation resources are available along
with links to global wildfire news. Wildland firefighters are
encouraged to upload their “Community Profile” as we observe
globally how each local community prevents unplanned wildfires.
About the International Association of Wildland Fire.
The IAWF is a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) professional association
representing members of the global wildland fire community
and http://wildfireworld.org <http://wildfireworld.org/>
) and is uniquely positioned as an independent organization whose
membership includes experts in all aspects of wildland fire
management. IAWF’s independence and breadth of global membership
expertise allows it to offer a neutral forum for the consideration of
important, at times controversial, wildland fire issues. IAWF produces
Wildfire magazine, the International Journal of Wildland Fire, and
1418 Washburn Street
Missoula, MT 59801 USA
Public Affairs Officer
Boulder County, Colo. – As part of its Forest Health Initiative, Boulder County is offering community forestry trainings and workshops this spring to help residents.
“Bark beetle management is complicated, but people will leave these trainings with a solid understanding about how to fight beetles on their land,” said Ryan Ludlow, Boulder County’s Outreach Forester.
Key Steps to Managing Your Backyard Forest
When: Thursday, April 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Nederland Community Center, 750 Highway 72 North
Info: Free forestry training shows how to fight bark beetles and create better defensible space around homes.
The Beetles are Coming: A Call for Community Action
When: Saturday, April 9, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Jamestown Town Hall, 118 Main St.
Info: Free training will focus on what landowners and communities can do to aggressively fight bark beetles as they arrive in our forests.
The Beetles are Coming: A Hands-on Training About Beetle Identification and Management
When: Wednesday, April 13, 6 p.m.
Where: Camp Eden, 11583 Camp Eden Road, Coal Creek Canyon
Info: Free field workshop will focus on effective landowner actions and best, current beetle management strategies.
Boulder County is also offering two wildfire preparedness workshops for residents interested in learning more about creating defensible space around their homes.
“These workshops will give folks an in-depth understanding of actions they can take to help increase the chances of their home surviving the next wildfire,” Ludlow said. “We live in a fire-dependent ecosystem and it is not a question of if a wildfire is going to occur, but when.”
Wildfire Preparedness and Planning Session 1
When: Thursday, April 21, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Boulder County Courthouse, Commissioners’ Hearing Room, 1325 Pearl St, third floor, Boulder
Who should attend: Those living at lower elevations (below 7,500 feet, in ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir dominated forests)
Wildfire Preparedness and Planning Session 2
When: Saturday, April 30, 1-4 p.m.
Where: Gilpin County Community Center, 250 Norton Drive, Black Hawk
RSVP: Pre-registration is required. Call 303-582-9106.
Who should attend: Those living at higher elevations (above 7,500 feet, in mixed conifer and lodgepole pine forests)
Please visit www.BoulderCounty.org/ForestHealth to find additional details about upcoming forestry trainings in your area. Contact Ryan Ludlow at 720-564-2641 or email@example.com for more information about upcoming trainings and forest management.
URGENT – FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER CO
437 AM MST THU M011
A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE POSSIBLE. PLEASE ADVISE THE APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS AND FIRE
CREWS IN THE FIELD OF THIS FIRE WEATHER WATCH.
…GUSTY WINDS AND DRY FUELS WILL PRODUCE VERY HIGH FIRE DANGER
OVER NORTHEAST COLORADO LATE FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY
LARIMER COUNTY BELOW 6000 FEET/NORTHWEST WELD COUNTY-
BOULDER AND JEFFERSON COUNTIES BELOW 6000 FEET/WEST BROOMFIELD
NORTH DOUGLAS COUNTY BELOW 6000 FEET/DENVER/WEST ADAMS AND
ARAPAHOE COUNTIES/EAST BROOMFIELD COUNTY-
ELBERT/CENTRAL AND EAST DOUGLAS COUNTIES ABOVE 6000 FEET-
NORTHEAST WELD COUNTY-CENTRAL AND SOUTH WELD COUNTY-MORGAN COUNTY-
CENTRAL AND EAST ADAMS AND ARAPAHOE COUNTIES-
NORTH AND NORTHEAST ELBERT COUNTY BELOW 6000 FEET/NORTH LINCOLN
SOUTHEAST ELBERT COUNTY BELOW 6000 FEET/SOUTH LINCOLN COUNTY-
LOGAN COUNTY-WASHINGTON COUNTY-SEDGWICK COUNTY-PHILLIPS COUNTY-
437 AM MST THU MAR 10 2011
…FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH
FRIDAY AFTERNOON FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR FIRE
WEATHER ZONES 238…239…240…241…242…243…244…245…
246…247…248…249…250 AND 251…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DENVER HAS ISSUED A FIRE WEATHER
WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY
* AFFECTED AREA…FIRE WEATHER ZONE 238…FORT COLLINS…
HEREFORD…LOVELAND…NUNN…WEST PAWNEE GRASSLANDS…FIRE
WEATHER ZONE 239…ARVADA…BOULDER...GOLDEN…LAKEWOOD…
LONGMONT…FIRE WEATHER ZONE 240…AURORA…BRIGHTON…CITY
OF DENVER…DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT…HIGHLANDS RANCH…
LITTLETON…PARKER…FIRE WEATHER ZONE 241…CASTLE ROCK…
ELBERT…FONDIS…KIOWA…LARKSPUR…FIRE WEATHER ZONE 242…
BRIGGSDALE…EAST PAWNEE GRASSLANDS…GROVER…PAWNEE
BUTTES…RAYMER…STONEHAM…FIRE WEATHER ZONE 243…EATON…
FORT LUPTON…GREELEY…ROGGEN…FIRE WEATHER ZONE 244…
BRUSH…FORT MORGAN…GOODRICH…WIGGINS…FIRE WEATHER ZONE
245…BENNETT…BYERS…DEER TRAIL…LEADER…FIRE WEATHER
ZONE 246…AGATE…HUGO…LIMON…MATHESON…FIRE WEATHER
ZONE 247…FORDER…KARVAL…KUTCH…PUNKIN CENTER…FIRE
WEATHER ZONE 248…CROOK…MERINO…STERLING…PEETZ…FIRE
WEATHER ZONE 249…AKRON…COPE…LAST CHANCE…OTIS…FIRE
WEATHER ZONE 250…JULESBURG…OVID…SEDGWICK…FIRE WEATHER
* TIMING…RELATIVE HUMDIDITY WILL DROP INTO THE TEENS BY MIDDAY
FRIDAY ALONG WITH GUSTY WEST TO NORTHWEST WINDS.
* WIND…WEST TO NORTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 45 MPH.
* HUMIDITY…10 TO 15 PERCENT.
* IMPACTS…DRY CURED FUELS COMBINED WITH LOW HUMIDITY AND
STRONG WINDS WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR FIRES TO START AND SPREAD
|10/29 – City evacuations ordered|
|City orders evacuations of selected west Boulder neighborhoods
The City of Boulder has begun mandatory evacuations of neighborhoods in west Boulder. All residences and businesses within the following boundaries are being ordered to evacuate: west of 7th Street from Canyon Boulevard on the south to North Street on the north. An evacuation center has been established at the Coors Event Center on the University of Colorado – Boulder campus. There are an estimated 1,700 people and 800 units within these boundaries.
The evacuations are in response to the Dome wildfire in Boulder Canyon near Dome Rock on City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks property. More than two dozen firefighters are on scene working the fire, and a one-seat plane has been making drops of retardant in the area. Additional ground and air support has been requested.
“As a precaution and to aid responders dealing with the Dome Fire, we are ordering a mandatory evacuation in some neighborhoods within the city,” said City Manager Jane S. Brautigam. “We are asking that residents follow the directions of emergency crews now so that emergency equipment can be positioned and crews can focus on extinguishing the wildfire. Resident and business cooperation is greatly appreciated as we work to contain this fire.”
Frequent updates are being posted to http://www.boulderoem.com/emergency-status.
Lets Get this thing stopped Boyz, before the winds pick up!!!
|10/29 11:00 Evacuation updates|
|Boulder Community Hospital Mapleton and Maxwell facilities are being evacuated by 11:30 a.m. No patients should come to the either out patient facility. There are no evacuations scheduled at this time for Boulder Community Hospital on N. Broadway.
Boulder Humane Society @ 303-442-4030 and the Boulder County Fairgrounds @ 303-548-6530 have been notified and are preparing for displaced animals.
|10/29 10:45 Health advisory|
|October 29, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chana Goussetis, 303.441.1457, firstname.lastname@example.org
Boulder County Public Health issues health advisory in response to fire
Due to the possibility of rapid weather changes, it is difficult to predict the condition of air quality related to current the fire.
In general, if you can see or smell smoke, it is recommended that you avoid outdoor physical activities. If visibility is decreased in your neighborhood to less than five miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.
Children, Elderly, and People with Respiratory Conditions
If you can see or smell smoke, children, elderly, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions should stay inside with the windows and doors closed. If it is hot outside, run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter elsewhere.
Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke because their airways are still developing and because they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also are more likely to be active outdoors.
Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, as they have higher levels of heart or lung diseases than younger people.
Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
When smoke levels are high, even healthy people may experience coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, stinging eyes, and a runny nose. If you can see or smell smoke, you should limit outdoor physical activities and stay indoors if at all possible.
Wildfire smoke contains pollutants that can be harmful to health. Particles from smoke tend to be very small and can therefore be inhaled into the deepest recesses of the lung and may represent a greater health concern than larger particles. Even in healthy people, this can cause temporary reductions in lung function and pulmonary inflammation. Particulate matter can also affect the body’s immune system.
Air quality updates are available at http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/advisory.aspx.
Updates on the wildfire are available at www.BoulderOEM.com
To receive this advisory by email or text, follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/bouldercohealth.
|10/29 10:30 City neighborhoods under evacuation orders|
|Residences and businesses within the following City of Boulder area are being asked to evacuate at this time: from Canyon Boulevard on the south to High Street on the north from the fire location on the west to 7th Street on the east. Everbridge notifications are being made. Evacuees are asked to respond to the Coors Event Center at CU.|
|10/29 10:30 A call center has been established for the #boulderfire Dome Fire.|
|A call center has been established for the Dome Fire. Affected residents can call 303-441-7730 for more information. Please do not call 9-1-1 with non-emergencies.|
|10/29 10:14 Air support making drops|
|One plane is|
NEWS UPDATE: #boulderfire from OEM/County: fairgrounds, photos, trails closed, volunteer, donate needs, services0
|5:29 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|The Boulder County Fairgrounds is accepting large animals and livestock throughout the weekend and has plenty of room and supplies.www.bouldercounty.org/newsroom/templates/pos.aspx?articleid=2314&zoneid=6|
|5:05 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|An updated map of the burn area and evacuation perimeter is posted online: http://www.bouldercounty.org/bocc/FourMileFireWebPerimeter.pdf|
|5 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|New photos posted by the Incident Management Team
See recently posted photos from the Fourmile Canyon wildfire atwww.picasaweb.com/fourmilecanyonfire.
|5 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|City closes trails due to Fourmile Canyon wildfire
The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department (OSMP), in cooperation with several firefighting agencies, has closed some trails, areas and trailheads in western Boulder. The closures are due to wildfire operations, extreme fire conditions and expected high winds. The areas will be closed until further notice.
The closures include these trails and areas:
Citations are being issued for vioaltions. OSMP and firefighters are appreciative of the public’s cooperation in this matter.
For more infomation on OSMP, call 303-441-3400 or visit www.osmp.org.
|4:40 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|Volunteer and Donation Information: Please no prepared or perishable food items.
Boulder is a very generous community, and many people want to donate food for the firefighters. While it is appreciated, prepared or perishable food cannot be accepted.
To volunteer or learn about the best ways to help, please call 211 or 866-760-6489, or use the official Boulder county donation drop-off site at 3111 28th Street to offer the following items:
Please do not drop off donations at local fire stations.
Boulder County established an Assistance Center for people displaced or affected by the wildfire. The center is located at Boulder County’s Sundquist Building, 3482 N. Broadway (Broadway and Iris) in Boulder. A call center is also operational there and can be contacted at 303-441-3560.
The Assistance Center is offering the following services to victims of the fire.
|4:34 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|Governor Bill Ritter and U.S. Senator Mark Udall
Visit the Fourmile Incident Command Post
Governor Bill Ritter and U.S. Senator Mark Udall visited the Fourmile Canyon Fire Incident Command Post at noon today. Governor Ritter met with the Incident Command Team’s planning staff and a local Field Observer who has been monitoring the fire behavior and activity. After these meetings he held a press conference. With local firefighters in the backdrop, the Governor recognized the efforts of all those working on the fire especially the local first responders to the incident. He also recognized the strong cooperation of the agencies involved. He encouraged those who evacuated to be patient and not try to return to their homes before they are allowed. He asked them not to rush the work of the firefighters. He promised he would continue to do all he could to provide the funding needed for this effort and that he will still be working for people after the fire is over.
Senator Mark Udall also spoke to the media and shared a personal story about being evacuated from his home in the past. He also shared his appreciation for the firefighters and let people know he will also be working from the federal level to do all he can to get assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
|4:32 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|Three dumpster locations have been provided for residents who have been allowed back into their homes and need to dispose of spoiled food. The dumpster sites are for food waste only.
The dumpsters will be removed at the end of each day and emptied.
|2:45 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|Public Information Officers from the Incident Management Team will be staffing an information booth at the Boulder Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Sept. 11. Their purpose will be to pass along information about fire suppression activities on the Fourmile Canyon Fire and answer the public’s questions about suppression of the fire.|
|2:21 p.m. – Sept. 10, 2010|
|Confused about the difference between contained and controlled and other firefighter lingo? Check out this useful glossary.|
Update #Boulderfire Four Mile Canyon fire: City takes precautions in advance of high winds; urges residents to remain vigilant and prepare for possible evacuations0
Forecasters are calling for wind gusts as high as 50 mph starting after about 6 p.m. today, Thursday, Sept. 9, and lasting into early morning hours. The City of Boulder is taking several measures to help protect residents and structures should these winds push the Fourmile Canyon wildfire into the city limits.
City officials are working with employees from fire, police, Open Space and Mountain Parks, public works and Parks and Recreation to put mitigation, evacuation and other emergency plans in effect. Some specific efforts include mowing grass along the western edge of the city to reduce fuel around residential areas, planning for possible evacuations and sharing information with our community.
“We are certainly hoping for the best, but as a city, we are doing the very things we would urge residents to do – staying vigilant and planning for the worst,” said City Manager Jane S. Brautigam. “While city neighborhoods have been spared a direct impact so far, this remains a volatile situation. There are concerns about the fire’s path becoming less predictable and the possibility of spot fires from embers.”
Residents who live west of Broadway are specifically encouraged to take the following actions:
· Clear out lawns and western areas, removing all combustibles, including firewood, lawn furniture, play equipment, grills and propane tanks.
· Do not put propane tanks inside garages. Move them to the east side of your home in a highly visible location.
· Mow tall grass and remove extra brush from the west side of your home.
· Make certain that all windows on the west side of your home are closed and keep all interior doors closed. Keep your porch light and all exterior lights on.
· Make sure you have gas in your car and park your vehicle pointed in the direction of the road.
· Prepare your take-away kit with important documents, photos, medications and other significant items and put it in your car.
· Consider making shelter arrangements with friends and family members, if possible, for you and your pets.
Brautigam, Fire Chief Larry Donner, Police Chief Mark Beckner and other city officials have been in continual communication with county, state and federal authorities, monitoring the fire and its possible impacts on the City of Boulder. The city has also provided significant resources to the firefighting, communication and evacuee support efforts.
“We are incredibly grateful for all of the work firefighters from near and far have done since Monday, and we are committed to continuing to help in all ways that we can,” Brautigam said. “We hope for good news soon, but we want our residents to know that the danger has not yet passed. This is an ideal time for families to develop a plan that could be implemented on a moment’s notice.”
The fire department website includes a great deal of information about wildfires, including specific tips on preparing for possible evacuations. This site can be accessed at: http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2408&Itemid=779.
The city also encourages all residents to monitor local news reports and check for up-to-date official information at http://www.boulderoem.com. If you have not already done so, sign up for emergency text alerts at http://www.boco911alert.com.
If a request to evacuate becomes necessary, residents are urged to do so immediately to help save lives and give firefighters the ability to bring in necessary equipment and crews to protect properties.
“If we reach an emergency situation, we will do everything we can to respond,” Brautigam said. “We will need full cooperation from residents. I know we can count on that from our community.”