Documentary, Colorado wildfires

Screen shot from the Colorado fires video
Screen shot from the Colorado fires video

Since 2000 1,769 homes have been destroyed by wildfires in Colorado — 850 in the last two years during the Black Forest and Waldo Canyon fires. The conflagrations have killed 8 residents and 12 firefighters.

The Denver Post has produced an excellent documentary, which includes photos, videos, audio of fire department radio transmissions, and interviews with firefighters, fire experts, politicians, and authors. We are not able to embed it here, but you can view it at the Denver Post website.

 

Thanks go out to Mike

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills.

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5 thoughts on “Documentary, Colorado wildfires”

  1. 20 people killed, 1800 homes burned, thousands of acres wasted, and still no significant change to Region 2’s overall IA strategy. No significant aerial IA response, no pre identified strike teams, in fact strike teams are not recognized in the region, no comprehensive emerging incident protocols, fire still managed by local sheriffs department. It’s a shame of how backwards the region is as a whole. The resistance to change is at every level and it seems turf battles, politics, and even local unit infighting take priority over customer service. R2 has a tough time with Duty Respect Integrity. Fix the mess.

  2. I have to agree. I hear the complaint out here all the time about how bad fires are managed in California. Then I watch the Springs fire in Ventura county, while listening to the radio traffic. The fire burned 24,500 acres and traveled 12 miles. No homes destroyed, nobody killed. They herded the fire around thousands of homes with 96 degree temps, 10% RH and 30-40mph winds. I can’t even begin to imagine how many homes we would lose here in those conditions. It’s time to get serious about how we fight fires here. Does California have more resources? Absolutely, but how did that happen? There was a conscious decision made to provide the tools, training and funding available to the firefighters. It’s going to need to start small….common radios and comms plans, qualified overhead, updated dispatch centers. Having a plan for one fire district doesn’t help if your incoming mutual aid has no clue what it is and they’re on a different radio system. Could we use aircraft? Sure, but again that’s a ton of money. Many times on IA here they’re unable to fly because of winds, so how does that help? Another misconception is that we can’t use dozers here. Really? Every big fire in the state I’ve been on has had them. On High Park they’re weren’t enough. Many hours lost repositioning dozers, not very efficient. California has Strike Teams of dozers. That’s a small goal we could try to accomplish that would be much, much cheaper than an aircraft fleet and maybe more useful in IA. But that’s just me ranting, maybe I had to much coffee this morning.

  3. Absolutely. Most R5 forests have a few IA Dozers. Outside of R5 only a few BLM districts have them. R2 is way behind the curve. You will NEVER have a dozer on IA in any efficient time frame within Colorado. Goofy. Fires in R5 have their issues also, but there is North to South parity when it comes to types of resources and dispatch protocols. you can go from one forest to the next in R2 and things are drastically different. The strength in the R5 program is that it is a Regional program with Regional expectations and participation. R2 is decentralized and the left hand has no clue what the right hand is doing.

  4. A very good documentary , in my opinion, tells the facts, as we all know they are….. Live in the WUI, Do nothing to protect yourself….get ready to see your home burn…Simple equation…

  5. Was that the December 2 (just updated) “Waldo Canyon, Black Forest and how wildfires are changing in Colorado and the American West”
    (denverpost.com/fireline/ci_24638312/watch-denver-post-documentary-fire-line)
    ?

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