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Old 03-15-2013, 1:40 PM
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Exclamation Soldier Canyon Fire (was wildland fire Lory State Park (west of Fort Collins))

#loryfire MT @LarimerSheriff: We can confirm a small fire outside Lory State Park. Resources on scene. 1 structure affected. Unknown degree

on FG3, FG4, PFA multiple brush units assigned.
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Old 03-15-2013, 1:55 PM
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Quite a bit of traffic going on. Listen online Larimer County Fire and EMS

Richard
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Old 03-15-2013, 1:56 PM
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281 reverse 911 evac orders just issued and more structure engines requested.

Jim
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Old 03-15-2013, 1:59 PM
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281 reverse 911 evac orders just issued and more structure engines requested.

Jim
Just saw Loveland Fire Batallion running hot NB on College through CSU so definitely got some extra resources on the way.
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Old 03-15-2013, 2:22 PM
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Now known as Solider Canyon Fire, from Larimer county.
Larimer County Emergency Information

The following information update has been made for: Soldier Canyon Fire

We have a fire buring in and around the Soldier Canyon area west of Horsetooth Rservoir. Poudre Fire Authority and Larimer County Emergency Services and Lory State Park employees are responding and on scene. Apparently at least 40+ acres are now involved with at least one structure having been affected. Unknown if this is a house or not and the extent of involvement. We also have sent emergency phone notifications to the area advising residents of the situation and some residents have been evacuated by fire personnel and Deputies on scene. We will continue to update this as we gather additionnal information
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Old 03-15-2013, 2:23 PM
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Larimer County Emergency Information

As of 1:00 p.m. Friday, it looks like we have approximately 50 persons who have been evacuated from the fire vicinity. The evac center / shelter for the time being has been designated as the Cache la Poudre Elementary School gynmasium in LaPorte. This was one of our prncipal shelters last year during the High Park Fire. Personnel are on scene now at the school and Red Cross staff is responding.
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Old 03-15-2013, 3:14 PM
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Air Tanker requested, closest one is in Montana currently.

It's going to be a long.. season

MAC-7 now being used also but mainly by LE.

Horsetooth Mountain Park being evacuated.

Jim<

Last edited by jimmnn; 03-15-2013 at 3:26 PM..
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Old 03-15-2013, 3:50 PM
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#SoldierCanyonFire has burned at least 200 acres, there is no containment and no estimated time for containment .

Evac point for North of CR-38E is getting close.

Jim<
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Old 03-15-2013, 6:34 PM
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The following information update has been made for: Galena Fire
The incident originally called the Soldier Canyon Fire was in fact named the Galena Fire. All old info previously posted for this fire will be pasted below and the incident called Soldier Canyon Fire will be taken down.

04:39 PM - Mar 15
Our fire is estimated at perhaps 800 acres. The strong gusty winds continue to be a problem. Currently there are road blocks at Lodgepole and Co. Rd 23 on the noth end of the fire and at Shoreline Drive and 38E and Skyline and 38E on the south part of the fire evac area. On the south end, people,are being allowed in with escorts to retrieve medicines, people and animals but cannot stay in their residences until the evacuation is lifted. At this time there is absolutely no information or guesses as to when that will be. We will try to keep this updated with new information when we get it and will also put emergency information on the County Emergency Info Line at 498-5500.


03:15 PM - Mar 15
Additional evacuation notifications have been sent by Fort Collins for the area west of Horsetooth Reservoir on the south side and those evacuations are being conducted now. The fire is being pushed from the north by strong winds. The area affected is north of Co Rd 38e. This includes all feeder streets to Shoreline Drive in the vicinity of Inlet Bay and north up to and including the Continental Cir. area. It is not now known how many homes this involves. The evacuation center and shelter remains Cache la Poudre Elementary in LaPorte but other options may be explored as circumstances warrant.


02:28 PM - Mar 15
We have another fire in the vicinity of Co. Rd 54 G and east of Overland Trail in LaPorte - possibly in the Eddy lane area. That would put it immediately south of the Plantorium Greenhouse. Poudre Fire has responded; no further information is available at this time.


01:00 PM - Mar 15
As of 1:00 p.m. Friday, it looks like we have approximately 50 persons who have been evacuated from the fire vicinity. The evac center / shelter for the time being has been designated as the Cache la Poudre Elementary School gynmasium in LaPorte. This was one of our prncipal shelters last year during the High Park Fire. Personnel are on scene now at the school and Red Cross staff is responding.


12:43 PM - Mar 15
We have a fire buring in and around the Soldier Canyon area west of Horsetooth Rservoir. Poudre Fire Authority and Larimer County Emergency Services and Lory State Park employees are responding and on scene. Apparently at least 40+ acres are now involved with at least one structure having been affected. Unknown if this is a house or not and the extent of involvement. We also have sent emergency phone notifications to the area advising residents of the situation and some residents have been evacuated by fire personnel and Deputies on scene. We will continue to update this as we gather additionnal information
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Old 03-16-2013, 3:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmnn View Post
Air Tanker requested, closest one is in Montana currently.

It's going to be a long.. season

MAC-7 now being used also but mainly by LE.

Horsetooth Mountain Park being evacuated.

Jim<
This is very early and here in the eastern Sierra of California most of the snow pack has disappeared at my house located just below 8,000 feet. The jet stream has remained north of us for most of the winter.

The average wildland fire season has increased by 78 days in the last 30 years. The average temperature of the United States has increased 1.5 degrees F since the mid 1980's. Of the fire seasons with a total acreage over 8 million, 6 of the 8 have occurred in the last 8 years. All of these factors combined with the disastrous effects from 100 years of fire suppression in fire dependent ecosystems, is causing fires to burn in ways I could not have thought of when I began my USFS career in 1974. I knew of the predictions of how much larger fires would get as a result of continued total fire suppression as the scientific literature on the subject was relatively abundant. A couple of years later I read of the predictions of warming temperatures in only one place. To add shorter, warmer winters and hotter spring, summer and fall seasons to unnatural quantities of fuel and unnatural species composition is amazing to watch, but at the expense of those of us that live in wildland fire prone areas.
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Old 03-16-2013, 9:56 AM
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Just for background.

Looking at the picture -

Is that a burnout operation? Or is the fire just creeping to the right?

I just see maybe 3 or 4 firefighters - all separated by large distances. There are 5 fire trucks there - there must be at least 5 firefighters there somewhere (unless someone walked back to the fire station to get another truck)

Even that tiny amount of flame can kill you if your pant leg catches on fire.

One ember can burn those homes down (if it lands in a sensitive place on the home).

There are probably 200 gallons of water on each of the smaller fire trucks. There might be 500 to 1000 gallons of water on the larger fire trucks. The larger fire trucks probably cant drive off the road without getting stuck.

If the large trees were fully involved in flames, it might take 1000 gallons of water to knock down the flames quickly (to prevent a thousand burning embers from flying thru the air).

3 trucks per home - 100 homes in danger - 300 trucks needed right there.

One simplex radio channel can tie all the firefighters together if they each have a portable radio - which they probably do. Comms thru the hillside are not possible. That hillside is essentially a radio wall.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:33 AM
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Default Pueblo IDC's Activity May Increase

It's starting out to be a different kind of wildland fire season. Nationally it's actually slower than usual. A record high of 95 in Phoenix Thursday and record and near record highs in Kansas yesterday may increase Southwest region's activity and Pueblo may start increasing activity due to their responsibilities in Kansas.

The area east of Cheyenne into Nebraska had Very High and Extreme Fire Danger yesterday.

Eastern Montana was in High Fire Danger this week, but in North Dakota there is so much snow on the ground there is up to a 90% chance of major flooding the week of April 8th. Major flooding could be as much as about 18 feet above flood stage. Around 6 inches of snow is forecast for the area this weekend. Due to federal budget cuts and sequestration some broken stream gauges are not being repaired and flood forecasting may not be as accurate this year as in the past.

In South Dakota, 2 people drowned in the Big Sioux River Thursday.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:57 AM
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The fire was fairly quiet last night with significant movement despite some gusty winds. The wind is quiet for now on the fire but we unfortunately may see it kick back up a bit later in the afternoon and tomorrow appears to hold the possibility of a 20-30 mph day again. We hope to make a good deal of progress today however with 4 crews, fire trucks/engines and a Type II helicopter to work the west flank and the numerous small smoke columns in the trees in paricular. The fire has moved south to a point just north of the end of the road (Minuteman Dr. area). Our line ties into the lake at Dixon Cove and we have nothing burning south of that point so far.
We are still looking at a fire around 800 to perhaps 1,000 acres in over all perimeter but again, we had no significant growth last night. A good deal of the burned area has been grass and small brush and much of that is black and without visible smokes. However, we still need to mop up around the perimeter even if its black and apparently out as fire can linger in roots and stump holes, etc. Also, please note that there will be a public meeting with the fire Incident Management Team in order to give information in person to those affected by the fire. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the Evac Center and Shelter located at Cache la Poudre Elementary School in La Porte. We will also continue to staff the phones lines in our Information Center at 498-5500 as long as the call load requires. After that, it will be recorded information only.
For complete information on this emergency, see Larimer County Emergency Information
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Old 03-16-2013, 1:50 PM
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Your pics look great! #2: 7NEWS - Galena Fire burns in Larimer County - News Gallery

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmnn View Post
#SoldierCanyonFire has burned at least 200 acres, there is no containment and no estimated time for containment .

Evac point for North of CR-38E is getting close.

Jim<
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Old 03-16-2013, 4:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerg901 View Post
Just for background.

Looking at the picture -

Is that a burnout operation? Or is the fire just creeping to the right?

I just see maybe 3 or 4 firefighters - all separated by large distances. There are 5 fire trucks there - there must be at least 5 firefighters there somewhere (unless someone walked back to the fire station to get another truck)

Even that tiny amount of flame can kill you if your pant leg catches on fire.

One ember can burn those homes down (if it lands in a sensitive place on the home).

There are probably 200 gallons of water on each of the smaller fire trucks. There might be 500 to 1000 gallons of water on the larger fire trucks. The larger fire trucks probably cant drive off the road without getting stuck.

If the large trees were fully involved in flames, it might take 1000 gallons of water to knock down the flames quickly (to prevent a thousand burning embers from flying thru the air).

3 trucks per home - 100 homes in danger - 300 trucks needed right there.

One simplex radio channel can tie all the firefighters together if they each have a portable radio - which they probably do. Comms thru the hillside are not possible. That hillside is essentially a radio wall.
Peter,

It is pretty tough to answer your questions and address your observations. You clearly don't know much about wildfire, but that is not unusual for most of the population. The most obvious and telling aspect of this picture is that the fire is backing. See the smoke moving from right to left? To advance to the right it has to burn against the wind. There a number of possibilities here. One, the fire burned in this area when the wind was moving from left to right, with the wind and the wind made a nearly 180 degree shift since then. I don't think this is the case. Two, the fire naturally backed into this area. Three, a burnout was conducted around the homes to protect them. With only the photo in hand the topography of the surrounding area is not known. Four, the head of the fire is to the right of the photo and is quite a distance away and this is a spot fire.

The position of the main fire relative to the picture is unknown. The photos location to the fire's burn pattern is not known, is this along a flank of the fire, is it at the heal or is it along a finger of the main fire? Did the head of the fire pass right through this area? What time of the day is this? If this is early in the morning or before 10 a.m. the fire might be laying down as a result. It could be the afternoon or closer to sunset, which would indicate that even during the peak of the burning period (of the day) the fire did not burn here with much intensity. All or the majority of these factors need to be known to explain what is going on in this picture.

If this is a spot fire ahead of the head, the people and positioning of the engines don't indicate the urgency such a situation normally presents. There is a small possibility that the fuels around the homes has been lit and a backfire is planed for the unburned fuels on the right. If so, the trees within a hundred feet or more of the homes would need to be cut down and the branches scattered away from them. Looking at the picture I think this is improbable.

Now for some of your comments. There are two Type I ENGINES, and three Type III ENGINES in the photo. Remember Peter, that these are engines, not trucks as trucks have an aerial ladder. Please look up ICS apparatus types and learn them at some point. It should be a part of your education in wildfire basics. Buy a book about wildland fire and read it. Books explaining the basics of wildland fire suppression and management are available at Amazon, but not likely to be available in a book store near you given where you live. You seem very interested and a book would probably be very interesting to you.

Now back to the engines, yes engines. If the full staffing for each engine type is in place there would be 4 people on each Type I and 3 on each Type VI engine. That would total 17 people. If minimum staffing for each engine is in place there would be 3 people on each Type I and 2 on each Type VI engine. That would total 12 people. There is a lot of smoke and the upper two houses block the view of some of the perimeter, so you end up with a "where's Waldo" type situation.

Even if a firefighter was wearing all cotton, it would be tough to die from a burning pant leg in these conditions. A person would have to stand in the little bit of low intensity flame and not move in order to burn up. A little gasoline soaked on the clothes would ensure the outcome. Otherwise, wearing Nomex clothing would make dying from burning pants highly unlikely. The isolated flames provide plenty of escape options so even getting hot is not going to happen in these circumstances. Some people trapped in a wildfire die due to burning from radiant heat. Some might even die from direct contact with flame. The biggest killer, however, is searing of the lungs. Air heated by intense fire is heated to temperatures hot enough, that when ingested burn the lungs and a person suffocates to death. The fire shelter is effective up to some point of protecting a person from radiant heat, but more importantly, if used properly, it traps air and prevents the lungs from damage. Many would think if they abandoned their fire shelter, or if they didn't have one, jumping into a creek where there bodies are submersed in water, that survival is a given. Not true as the air around a creek might be heated to a fatal temperature.

An ember from the fire shown in this picture starting a fire on or in these structures would be hard to conceive of. The fire is not burning with enough intensity to produce flying embers of the size needed for ignition. The fire is not producing sufficient radiant heat to start one of the trees on fire. The fuel around the homes, to the right and uphill, is not real heavy, although light, flashy fuels on isolated portions of fires, has killed firefighters so caution is always needed. The wind would have to shift considerably for an intense fire to burn in these fuels. The escape route and safety zone is obvious, however. "Run into the black" is the phrase here.

In the wildland/urban interface one truck per house is a tough ratio to meet when the urban area is large enough to deserve the designation. Why there appears to be 5 ENGINES for 3 houses cannot be explained. There are only 2 structure protection engines present, the Type VI's cannot be considered structure protection. They are useful for structure protection and are typically used for burnout and backfiring, as well as fuel removal around structures. They are also used for suppressing spot fires on the unburned side of a line when a backfire is ignited.

It would not take 1000 gallons to knock down the flame in one of those trees. A fog spray can be effective doing this, especially in this case of small trees and light to moderate fuels in the area. Full suppression of the flames is not always the goal, sometimes you are just trying to slow the consumption of the foliage so that less radiant heat is produced (if radiant heat is a threat to structures or firefighters) or to cool or knock down the embers produced so that they don't start spot fires or ignite a structure. One of the Type VI engines could handle one tree, especially in the circumstances in this photo.

It is impossible to know if each firefighters has a handheld using this picture. The policy and equipment of the unknown department or agency present here would have to be known. The federal wildland agencies equip each engine crew member with handhelds in most cases. In Colorado wildland fire suppression outside of fire districts and city/town limits, not in the jurisdiction of federal agencies (USFS, BLM etc.) is the responsibility of each county sheriff. At least in the western states, I've never heard of this arrangement before. Usually this is a state agency responsibility, but in Colorado the state provides funding for apparatus acquisition by counties, but other than that I don't know anything about this. The Colorado State Forest Service, not to be confused with the U.S. Forest Service, is very small when compared with other states.

It is impossible to know what the terrain outside of the picture is, so making a statement that the terrain forms a wall cannot be made. It is likely that the handhelds carried by the crews in the photo are assigned a tactical frequency for the division or group they are assigned to. It is also likely that they can hear most of the tactical traffic on the division they are assigned to. VHF High still has enough "terrain bending" characteristics to carry for some distance in all but extreme topography. Now there is a lot of extreme topography in the west, but from what I see in the photo, it is unlikely there is any close. Normally, a division is set up using a number of criteria. One is using the general guideline of only supervising 5 people or entities. So strike teams of engines (25 engines), five strike teams of crews (10 crews) or 5 strike teams of dozers (10 dozers). More likely a combination of all of these. It can also be a combination of single resources and strike teams or just single resources (1 engine, 1 crew, 1 dozer). Second, the division should be of the size it can be walked by the division supervisor in one shift. Third, simplex radio use covers the entire division. Of the 108 fires on my career log, only one division assignment involved a combination of terrain and division size where simplex operations were inadequate on the division. 108 fires is not really all that much experience compared to those who spend an entire career in fire management. I only spent years in fire management and the remainder in recreation, lands and law enforcement.

That one where division wide simplex coverage did not exist was in Yellowstone in 1988 on the North Fork fire. Everyone on the line was nearly working the job of the next level above their qualifications, so as a crew boss I was making many of the decisions normally made by my strike team leader, my strike team leader was nearly covering a "mini-division," a division was larger than most divisions, but not quite as large as a branch, etc. After that year large fires were assigned more than one incident management team so that this would not happen, but there isn't an official name for the area each team covers. At one point I had made a strike team leader/division supervisor level decision about the need to evacuate my portion of the division due to fire behavior I could see from my location, something neither my strike team leader or the division supervisor could not see. The division sup sent a Type I helicopter to my portion of the line and told me I should evacuate, based on what the division sup was seeing. The helicopters mission in this case was to raise me on the tactical frequency and relay the order. My response was I had made the decision a half hour prior and relay to the division sup that the entire division would most likely need to be evacuated based on what I was seeing, which was fire in a large area of unburned fuels making a run at a unstaffed portion of the line, that was between his and my location. Yellowstone in 1988 was so intense and large that this working above your qualifications was happening and that is why you now see more than one management team being assigned to fires. It is not uncommon now, but when the ICS was being developed very large fires similar to what happened in Yellowstone in 1988 were unprecedented in modern times (post the Big Burn of 1910).

It is doubtful that many people will read all of this post. I wrote it for you, Peter. I probably won't write another, as I've written a few more of some size in the past in response to your questions and uneducated comments. Please obtain a good book on wildland fire suppression and management so that you don't tax my time and the space on this website.

This post will not be proofread, so excuse me for any errors that may have been made.
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Old 03-16-2013, 6:34 PM
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Keeping a close eye on this thread, guys.
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Old 03-16-2013, 6:58 PM
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Thanks for your analysis of the fire behavior etc. I read the whole post and I'm sure others have as well.

I realize you did not proofread your post. In paragraph 4, did you mean three Type VI Engs? I don't believe Colorado has very many Type III Engs. Most in that size range are typed as IV's. If someone wants to go into ROSS and count up III's, IV's and VI's in Colorado that could be very educational.

Thanks again ExSmokey for taking the time for the indepth post.
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Old 03-16-2013, 9:55 PM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 6_1_2 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10B146 Safari/8536.25)

Wow, ex smokey, thanks for the indepth explanation. I did read all of it. FYI, Alberta started their fire season march 1. Stay safe down there.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for your analysis of the fire behavior etc. I read the whole post and I'm sure others have as well.

I realize you did not proofread your post. In paragraph 4, did you mean three Type VI Engs? I don't believe Colorado has very many Type III Engs. Most in that size range are typed as IV's. If someone wants to go into ROSS and count up III's, IV's and VI's in Colorado that could be very educational.

Thanks again ExSmokey for taking the time for the indepth post.
I did mean 3 Type VI engines. Obviously those three engines are not Type III.
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Old 03-17-2013, 5:50 PM
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Quote:
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I did mean 3 Type VI engines. Obviously those three engines are not Type III.
Most of the wild land engines in Colorado are Type 6 not Type 3's. Smaller tank, smaller pump and often more manuverable over the terrain we face.

Wildland fire engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thanks for your great input.

Jim<
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