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Wildfire! (many photos)
Lens: SMC Takumar 55mm F1.8, Super Takumar 28mm F3.5, Tair 3 300mm F4.5 Preset Camera: K20D Photo Location: Northern Colorado ISO: 100 
Posted By: Colorado CJ, 06-09-2012, 08:12 PM

While out fishing with my nephew and my dad, we watched a wildfire start and build steadily in the mountains.




After getting back to the house, I grabbed my pack and headed out to see if I could get closer. The roads were all shut down going towards the fire, the police only allowing people to go in to get things out of their houses. I know of some mountain trails that could get me closer, so I parked the truck, threw on my pack and started hiking. After a few miles I got up on a ridge line and had a decent view. I could have went farther, but that would have meant a few more miles and a much longer hike back and it was already getting late.

This wildfire grew very quickly




Sure wouldn't want to live there




The wildland firefighters wasted no time. There were many different aircraft including spotter planes, skycrane helicopters, Airtractors, and P-2 firebombers. It is amazing watching the spotting planes guide the big bombers in, flying through nearly zero visibility conditions in and out of canyons. Must be a very exciting job!



















I wish I could have got a little closer, atleast over the next ridge. It looks like it is sizing up to be a pretty bad wildfire season because of the light snow and very little rain. Hope the wildland firefighters get this one out soon.
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06-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote

I wish I could have got a little closer, atleast over the next ridge. It looks like it is sizing up to be a pretty bad wildfire season because of the light snow and very little rain. Hope the wildland firefighters get this one out soon.
I suspect a few of us are glad that you didn't try to get too close. I agree that it is likely going to be a rough fire season, for the reasons you mention and because the forestry practices of the past decade or so have been counterproductive.
06-09-2012, 08:59 PM   #3
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I found out that the fire is actually burning in a historic area with some of the best mountain scenery around. It is burning up in Old Flowers Road, which is a beautiful area where historic ranches are still running. There are tons of forest service roads in the area and I usually spend my summers up there prospecting and riding the trails on my motorcycle.

It is already burned over 4000 acres in just a few hours from starting. Pretty bummed out right now.
06-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #4
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Much better view on PF of your photos than on CE don't you think CJ, thanks for posting. Bob

06-09-2012, 09:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Bob, yeah, I do like PF better. Full size images are MUCH nicer to view. Know more people here (on the forums anyway) too.
06-10-2012, 08:11 AM   #6
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Been reading about this fire and the one in New Mexico. Both are bad and hopefully the firefighters will get a handle on them soon. It is heartbreaking to see what a fire can do to a landscape. Take care CJ and don't try and get too close.
06-10-2012, 10:41 AM   #7
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I won't be getting close to this one. 14,000 acres burned so far, within 24 hours of starting and 0% contained. This is a monster fire that is going to change the landscape for many years to come. Mountain communities and towns are being evacuated, winds are high and looks like the fire might burn through a large area today.
06-10-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
Been reading about this fire and the one in New Mexico. Both are bad and hopefully the firefighters will get a handle on them soon. It is heartbreaking to see what a fire can do to a landscape. Take care CJ and don't try and get too close.
QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
I won't be getting close to this one. 14,000 acres burned so far, within 24 hours of starting and 0% contained. This is a monster fire that is going to change the landscape for many years to come. Mountain communities and towns are being evacuated, winds are high and looks like the fire might burn through a large area today.
Over the long haul fires are good for a landscape, but it gets complicated when people start living in regions that have a tendency to burn. Under those conditions, I agree it is tough to watch. Containment problem won't start to happen until the weather cooperates. There isn't much you can do when the winds will whip a fire past a fire line, or change its direction at whim.

06-10-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
Over the long haul fires are good for a landscape, but it gets complicated when people start living in regions that have a tendency to burn. Under those conditions, I agree it is tough to watch. Containment problem won't start to happen until the weather cooperates. There isn't much you can do when the winds will whip a fire past a fire line, or change its direction at whim.
Yellowstone still hasn't recovered to the beauty it once was and that fire was in 1988, burned 1 1/2 million acres. Government agencies really made a big mistake letting that one continue to burn.
06-10-2012, 02:52 PM   #10
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great series, well documented and some really nice shots.
cheers
06-10-2012, 03:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob Harris Quote
Yellowstone still hasn't recovered to the beauty it once was and that fire was in 1988, burned 1 1/2 million acres. Government agencies really made a big mistake letting that one continue to burn.
I'm certainly not an expert in the field, but I know that at one stage they used to do controlled burns to ensure that the levels of tinder didn't get too high, and then that policy stopped. Aside from the limited burnoff, controlled burns also meant the surviving trees got to be a lot stronger and could survive future fires better. Under the wrong conditions (dry winter and summer, hot summer, lightning, high winds) there isn't much you can do to stop a big fire.
06-10-2012, 04:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
I found out that the fire is actually burning in a historic area with some of the best mountain scenery around. It is burning up in Old Flowers Road, which is a beautiful area where historic ranches are still running. There are tons of forest service roads in the area and I usually spend my summers up there prospecting and riding the trails on my motorcycle.

It is already burned over 4000 acres in just a few hours from starting. Pretty bummed out right now.
Devastating to view and to read. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your special place. Your images are outstanding and I appreciate that you shared them with us...
06-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the images.
06-10-2012, 06:40 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone. I'm just loosing a riding area (for now), I'm really saddened for those losing their homes/livelyhoods.

It is much larger now. I'm going to go out tonight to shoot some long exposure photos of the fire glow.
06-11-2012, 11:32 AM   #15
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36,000 acres as of 8:00 am today. Fire burned all of Rist Canyon (many homes/ranches), and is now burning down the slope on the west side of Horsetooth Reservoir, about 2 miles as the crow flies from Fort Collins.

0% containment, the fire chiefs just don't know what to do (I can't blame them).
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