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Thread: Waldo Canyon Fire

  1. #21
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    The view used to be great.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra View Post
    I'd like to know what's going to happen to that area. Will it be redeveloped with the same cheap building materials? Will the people move on and these areas will just go undeveloped? I know that Flying W Ranch plans to rebuild. But I kind of hope that those who lost their homes will either not rebuild on that site or they will rebuild with better materials.

    If it were me, I don't know if I'd rebuild or not on the same site - if it were the house I used to live in, which sat on 5 acres, then yes, but probably not if I were in a subdivision with so many other homes. I'd just buy a new home elsewhere with the insurance payoff.
    Like I said in the post above your's, I'm betting that the El Paso County Regional Building Commission is going to amend their edition of the UBC with some real hard and fast regulations concerning Roofs and Decks, and Zoning will probably look real hard in review of mitigation and landscaping standards. Simply because Forest Fires are part of Nature and if you choose to encroach upon the woodlands, you should build and live there with that in mind. And do not begin to believe the mantra "that's what Insurance if for."

    As for "going back" . . I just listened to an interview with a family whose house didn't burn. But most of the houses around them did. The Lady, in tears, asked how she could go back, look out of her windows at what is left and not want to be somewhere else. Now, I'm sure, most of the people who lived there will rebuild there, if the Building Code doesn't become so stringent they can't afford to replace what they lost at that site, but there will be others who don't ever want to live through the experience again. They'll build out at Ellicot or someplace like that and get blown away by a Tornado. Nature's everywhere, and you have to deal with it. It's just that some of nature is more final than other kinds may be.

    Something to note. While the fire has been reported by all of the news media, and the local TV and other media have covered the Walden Canyon Fire minute by minute, you haven't heard the same national empathy for the fire victims that you heard when the tornado hit Holly, Colorado or Joplin, Missouri. For some reason, wreckage and scattered debris is more demanding of compassion than a complete subdivision reduced to nothing more than grey ash . . . I find that interesting if not disappointing . . .

    I gotta add this . . It's time for the courts to recognize that the people in charge of the government lands must be allowed to mitigate the forests in which we see, live and play in and enjoy. It's time to either quit listening to those who won't allow (and sue constantly to deter) thinning and clearing of the State and Federal Lands that most of our forests and woodlands are on. Those Environmentalists are as much to blame for what has happened this month in the State of Colorado's Forests as the spark that lit the fire to start with . . . And I defy any treehugger reading this to debate the point!
    Last edited by large; 06-29-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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  3. #23
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    Here's a link to the map of Mountain Shadows subdivision . . http://www.springsgov.com/units/comm...062912_8pm.pdf

    Undamaged is in green, partially damaged in yellow and totaled in blue . . . FYI
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  4. #24
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    Something to note. While the fire has been reported by all of the news media, and the local TV and other media have covered the Walden Canyon Fire minute by minute, you haven't heard the same national empathy for the fire victims that you heard when the tornado hit Holly, Colorado or Joplin, Missouri. For some reason, wreckage and scattered debris is more demanding of compassion than a complete subdivision reduced to nothing more than grey ash . . . I find that interesting if not disappointing . . .
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  5. #25
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    Something to make you say; "Huh?" An article from IBD about how the great losses in the Waldo Canyon Fire might have been prevented . .

    The Colorado Wildfire Was A Preventable Tragedy
    By PAUL DRIESSEN
    Posted 07/23/2012 06:53 PM ET

    The Colorado Springs wildfire had doubled in size overnight, to 24 square miles half the size of San Francisco as 50-mph gusts carried fiery branches from exploding treetops across fire breaks, down Waldo Canyon and into fresh stands of drought-dried timber. Flames threatened the beautiful Air Force Academy campus, 346 houses burned, hundreds more faced immolation, and 32,000 people were evacuated.

    One hundred thirty miles north, the monster Fort Collins fire consumed 136 square miles of forest and torched 259 homes. By July 4, Colorado forest fires had devoured 170,000 acres nearly five times the size of Washington, D.C. Across 11 western states, nearly 2 million acres have already burned this year. People died.

    The infernos also exterminated wildlife habitats and incinerated every living organism in the thin soils, presaging erosion that will clog streambeds during downpours and snowmelts. Many areas will not recover their foliage or biodiversity for decades.

    Having hiked in many of these areas, I was truly depressed. Why were the fires allowed to rage? "We are doing everything possible to control these blazes," officials insist. One wonders.

    Put aside the insanity of letting environmentalists, bureaucrats and judges obstruct even selective cutting to dense stands of timber or remove trees killed by beetles. Overlook how these policies turn forests into closely bunched matchsticks.

    Once a fire erupts, there is no reason it should devastate homes, suburban developments or vast forests. Technology exists to stop these fires before they reach such proportions.

    Two days before Waldo Canyon burst into flames, a revolutionary fire suppressant stopped a 300-acre fire north of Albuquerque, N.M., almost in its tracks.

    Just nine single-engine planeloads of FireIce (about 7,200 gallons) were needed to douse the flames, prevent nearby trees and homes from igniting, and insure that the fire remained extinguished.

    Dutch Snyder, the independent fire-fighting pilot whose airplane handled this successful mission, remarked afterward that he had "never seen a retardant hold a fire line" so well, or "any product knock down a fire so quickly."

    According to its inventor, GelTech Solutions, FireIce smothers fires by taking heat and oxygen away from combustible materials. It can be dropped directly onto a fire, penetrating through to burning trees and brush rather than just being dropped far from flames, like conventional retardants.

    This suppressant can be dropped by plane or sprayed by homeowners on houses, trees and landscaping, to protect them from heat and flames. Even a 2,000-degree F blowtorch cannot ignite a wood board coated in FireIce.

    The Forest Service has certified FireIce and GelTech, and put them on its "qualified products list" of fire-battling chemicals and professionals. The company maintains its own mixing equipment and stands ready to assist aerial and ground fire-fighting operations anywhere.

    Duly impressed, I called the company to ask what role it was playing in fighting the Colorado blazes and why its technology apparently was not working. It had not been asked to help! How was that possible? Why didn't officials break from traditional (and inadequate) wildfire tactics and retardants, and use FireIce or a similar product that actually kills fires, to protect homes, habitats, wildlife and human lives?

    With a long fire season still ahead, the Forest Service and Western states governors and mayors need to break from their ossified, calamitous habits. If they do not, responsible legislators and environmentalists should find out why so that tragedies like these Colorado fires never happen again.
    And, apparently thses compounds work, because firemen employed by Chubb Insurance (among a couple of others) used it on a number of half million dollar plus homes that didn't burn. It was disclosed about a week after the fire was no longer a news item, that three companies of "Private Firemen" with Brush Trucks, Water tankers and high tech gels went into those areas, moved flammable furniture, etc away from homes, mitigated the properties, set up plastic water tanks with sprayers on the properties and sprayed the gel on the homes and decks . . Those were the "firemen" who got thanked for their "thoughtfulness" . . Actually they were getting paid well for their protection of specific properties. That doesn't make them bad guys, but it does point up that most of the firemen who were there were doing little or nothing to actually suppress or put out the fire(s). This is not to say they weren't trying, it's just to point out that they were largely ineffective when using old methods instead of "fireproofing" the fuels directly ahead of the fire . . as is pointed out in this article.

    I'd also add that the way the government(s) decide to address the priority of a "wildfire" is backwards . . They send a small crew upon discovery, and seem to stay just behind the fire as demand for more control grows . . Eventually calling in the large air support and other literally heroic efforts, pretty much after the fire has gotten clear out of control. Then, all that can be saved is whatever the weather grants them. We saw that very plainly in the last day of the Waldo Canyon fire. Had the wind not changed and the humidity risen, it might have burned twice to three times as much area and the homes (and businesses) in that area. It sure as hell wasn't our ability to contain it with the technology that was generally being used.

    One would think, if the cost of "fighting" that fire was $16.5 million, that we probably should have gotten more bang for the buck, from our "publicly owned" Fire departments, simply because those "Private" fire companies had far better results, using far different technologies . . But we didn't, and we all will feel it in our increasing Homeowner's Insurance Premiums . .

    Not to mention, our government(s) need to throw aside the suits filed by the tree huggers and begin to allocate money that is spent fighting wildfires to mitigating and thinning the forests and wildlands they are in charge of. If that is done, there will be a lot less danger of these wildfires burning into the edges of cities where development has infringed upon the forests.
    "A man with a firearm is a citizen... a man without one is a subject"

  6. #26
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    Large, that article is a great find! It's interesting that we're not hearing much about anyone else questioning why FireIce was not used in Colorado. Apparently they were quite successful at putting out fires in New Mexico with FireIce. They say it can be applied directly onto the flaming trees, while other retardants must be applied some distance away from the actual flames. Here's a demo on 9News, where Marty Coniglio actually eats some FireIce.

    http://www.9news.com/rss/article/196...rom-a-wildfire

  7. #27
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    This sounds like a great product - BUT -what about getting rid of dry brush and dead trees to begin with? Oh, wait, that's illegal because of the spotted owl. Right?

    If we're so concerned about spotted owls, why didn't we act to preserve their environment to lessen the risk of it being burned down in the first place? And in so doing we could have preserved our own habitats, as well - possibly keeping 32,000 people from having to be evacuated and 350 homes from burning down.

    Which, in turn, might mean we may not have needed any fire retardants to begin with - or at least, not as much of it.

    BUTwhattheF---wouldIknow... ;-)
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  8. #28
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    Sandra, I'm ahead of you again . . Back up there I said:
    Not to mention, our government(s) need to throw aside the suits filed by the tree huggers and begin to allocate money that is spent fighting wildfires to mitigating and thinning the forests and wildlands they are in charge of. If that is done, there will be a lot less danger of these wildfires burning into the edges of cities where development has infringed upon the forests.
    Make some of those Judges who entertain the radical environmentalist's lawsuits filed over and over again to prevent thinning and mitigation, live out in those same forests and live "At Risk" because of the idiocy of someone who doesn't live within a thousand miles of the Forest they're trying to "Protect"!.

    Or perhaps "Mis-guided Intentions" . . .
    "A man with a firearm is a citizen... a man without one is a subject"

  9. #29
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    Oh, I know you said that - I'm just pissing and moaning about it again because the mentality of it is aggravating. Seems that no one in any official place has even been willing to consider this. grrrrrrrrrrrrr.....
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  10. #30
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    Actually they have. Scott Tipton has proposed (or put forth) a bill (The Healthy Forest Management Act, HR6080) mandating forest mitigation in the US House of Representatives and is gaining support. Passing the House shouldn't be a problem, but once it's into the Senate it will be attacked by the "Environmental Abolitionists" (Pueblo Chieftain editorial) and it will be a toss up. basically it involves more state and local input about management of the forests and taking care of high risk areas before they become explosive . .

    On the deal about the high tech materials like FireIce and others, believe it or don't, it's a technology that was first designed to be used in disposable diapers. A fiber (and later a gel) that can absorb hundreds of times it's weight in water (or other liquids, depending upon the liquid's viscosity) and when sprayed upon a surface sticks, and makes the surface cooler (and wet) thus, "fireproofing" it. Our Racing Team has vests filled with the gel and once they are soaked in ice water, and the excess water brushed off, you can wear the vest in 100 plus weather and remain comfortably cool. That's how we put up with the 106 temps at the last two races at PMP, safely . . and basically it's the same science that the new Gels and slurries are made of . . it's not really that much more expensive. Probably, the hesitation to use these new technologies are that they aren't 100% biodegradable and the tree huggers could have a field day in court if the Gels or Slurries remain in the forests to any degree and could have any kind of foreseeable negative effect. None of this has been looked at very close. Apparently.

    The current retardant slurry is composed of water, fertilizer, a fire retardant compound and dye. It's supposed to be 100% Biodegradable over a short period of time and apparently has met the requirements of the "Environmental Abolitionists" in the past. Problem with the current retardants, is, with a really rolling crown fire, the retardant is outclassed by the heat and wind of the fire that "Pre-Dries" everything flammable ahead of it and you can't get enough of it on the trees ahead of the fire . . Often the water in the mix evaporates before the slurry contacts the trees and fuel sources . . On a running fire, you have to defend at the ridge lines and in a big one, getting enough slurry down is almost impossible, both in the length of the fire front and the width of the "firebreak" you're trying to create with the slurry. The water bearing gels and slurries are used directly on the fire front as an Extinguisher as well as a retardant.

    However, no matter that the new technologies might not be perfectly biodegradable or might even have a negative Environmental effect upon the areas where it would be used, putting out a fire before it becomes a conflagration and potentially damaging a small area with a gel would still outweigh the damages, both short and long term, done to the large areas of forest and development by an out of control Wildfire . . .

    In other words, reclaiming 20 or 30 acres of forest damaged by a firefighting technology would beat hell out of the reclamation of hundreds of acres of forest land for the 50 or 60 years it take to grow it back that wildfires have burned. And the cost of the insurance claims for burned Properties.

    ButwotthehelldoIknow?
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