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Wildfire

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

It’s been a few weeks since the Lake Christine Fire tore along the hillsides above Basalt and El Jebel. The flames are gone, but the evidence of the fire is clear on the blackened landscape. It’s a haunting change from the usual green or gold slopes; newspaper columnists have called this a "hellscape."

The Turret Fire is burning 22 miles northeast of Glenwood Springs. As of Monday afternoon, crews had about a third of it contained.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Eight wildfires now burn in Colorado, and Roaring Fork Valley communities are under fire restrictions because of hot, dry, windy conditions.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio

Officials are preparing for a hot, dry summer, and with it, increased fire danger. Glenwood Springs is hosting an event Saturday to help residents prepare for wildfires.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Pitkin County has updated its plans to lessen the impacts of natural disasters, like floods and wildfires.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Wildfires across the west have forced thousands of people to evacuate and destroyed homes in suburban areas. Jennifer Balch, the director of CU Boulder’s Earth Lab, has studied the human impacts on the fire season and the expansion of the wildfire territory. She spoke with Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Smoke from large fires in several western states is settling in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Winds pushed smoke from several wildfires in Utah, Arizona and California into the Roaring Fork Valley Thursday. The smoke is likely to stick around Friday as well.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County’s plan for dealing with natural hazards is due for an update. The 2017 edition will consider climate change impacts.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio

A wildfire along Lower River Road yesterday threatened one home and burned about 6 acres near the Roaring Fork River. High winds spread a burning debris pile across private land. Though flames reached within 50 feet of a home, no buildings were damaged.

Courtesy of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

A researcher with the U.S. Forest Service will speak this week about the sociology and psychology of fire management.

Wilderness Workshop Conservation Director Will Roush outlines the two guiding principles the organization uses to conduct their work in protecting the lands of the White River National Forest and surrounding areas.  Peter Hart, Conservation Analyst and Staff Attorney, also contributes to the conversation.  Roush and Hart discuss the Thompson Divide and the BLM's decision to cancel 25 oil and gas leases on the Divide, and the organization's work in forest restoration and water. 

Inciweb

A fire north of the Roaring Fork Valley is getting lots of attention. The Beaver Creek Fire is near the Wyoming border and the town of Walden. Firefighters from Carbondale and Aspen are hoping to help put the blaze out. Crews from Aspen and Carbondale left Wednesday and Thursday after receiving a call for assistance.

Marci Krivonen

The Aspen Community School is implementing a new safety plan that includes drills like “lockdowns” and table-top exercises. The increased security is meant to prepare for events like an active shooter, a bear inside the school or a wildfire. As contributor Marci Krivonen reports, schools across Colorado have been increasing security since Columbine in 1999.

Unusual winter wildfire likely caused by transient

Nov 30, 2015
Glenwood Springs Fire Department

The Glenwood Springs Fire Department had a surprising holiday last Thursday. On Thanksgiving Day, a small winter wildfire broke out near Walmart, which is extremely unusual for the area.

http://www.wildfire-colorado.com/

Tactics to safeguard mountain resort communities against wildfire are improving but educating residents is still a hurdle. Wildfire officials gathered in Snowmass Village Friday (9/25) to go over new approaches to keeping high country homes from burning down. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain communities like Snowmass Village have unique problems when it comes to wildfire — many homes are smack-dab in the middle of high risk fire zones. Even though a big fire hasn’t burned here for nearly a decade, Snowmass Fire Marshall John Mele says fire is probable.

Marci Krivonen

Inmates from the Rifle Correctional Center helped with final steps of a mine reclamation project near Aspen on Tuesday.

Andrea J Holland

A wildfire caused by lightning near Glenwood Springs cost between $80,000 and $100,000 to fight. It’s now fully controlled.

The Red Canyon Fire started Friday afternoon in dry juniper, pinyon and sagebrush. It burned seven acres on BLM land about three miles southeast of Glenwood. David Boyd with the BLM says two helicopters and between 50 and 60 firefighters worked it.

"When you have a fire this close to the community, you want to keep it small. One reason it stayed small was because we had so many people who could respond to it."

Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior and Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, came to Colorado Tuesday to urge a change in how the federal government pays to fight catastrophic wildfires.

"The solution is for these fires to be looked upon in the same way we look at tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods, they're natural disasters and they should be funded as such," Vilsack said.

Interior's Jewell agrees the funding mechanism should change.

droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Even with all of the recent rain and snow in Western Colorado, the region continues to be in a drought. Some areas have “severe drought” conditions, including the southwest section of Pitkin County. Wildfire season typically gets underway in May and June. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Doug Paul from the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit about the wildfire outlook.

Doug Paul is with the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit, which manages fire on federal lands. 

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