Thursday, April 5, 2012

Colorado Wildfires: So Now We Know

As if we were too stupid to figure this out.

From today's Huffington Post headline:

Colorado Wildfire: Controlled Burn Crews Did Not Check Weather Forecasts Which Would Have Predicted High Winds

From the article:

"The Colorado State Forest Service conducted a 50-acre prescribed burn on March 22... It wasn't far from site of the monstrous Hayman Fire 10 years ago, and this burn was a precaution.
Once the fire was out, crews patrolled the perimeter daily to make sure it stayed that way...the hot afternoon of Monday, March 26, that they spotted an ember blown across the perimeter and lighting grass. What they hadn't done in all their methodical planning was ask for real-time weather forecasts that would have predicted vicious, swirling winds. 

          [And they were bad -- up to 40-50 mph. Totally normal for us this time of year.]


     From there, a deadly cascade of missteps combined with the vagaries of wind and fire to produce another tragedy in the Rocky Mountains...The 6-square-mile blaze killed three people, destroyed dozens of homes near the small town of Conifer and raised questions about what could have been done to contain the human and material losses..."

"'This is heartbreaking, and we are sorry,' deputy state forester Joe Duda said."

Thanks, Colorado State Forest Service (and Joe).  I feel much better now.

Read the full report here. Grrr.

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Zzzzzzzz...

After four hours at Tuesday Morning's checkout line today, I can honestly relate. Okay, maybe a nap AND a cookie.