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Glenn Dean (Vatorman) | profile | all galleries >> Black Forest Fire tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

Black Forest Fire

Literally backdoor reporting as all these images were shot from my back deck.
Fire started around 1300h on June 11 under red flag conditions.
We nervously watched live television reports, while smoke plumes shaped our northern view towards the Black Forest area.

June 12 - was allowed to stay home from work to watch the progress; both good and bad, and assess that we had all we wanted to take in the already packed car.

June 13 - the fire has receded from our area thanks to both wind pushing it away and all the valiant efforts of fire crews; ground and air. We are still in Pre-evacuation zone - the "Ready!" part of Ready, Set, Go! We do feel more comfortable now and have unpacked the car. Mandatory areas expand north and west (away from me).

June 14 - Gentle winds and a scattered thundershower late in the evening. 5% contained.

June 15 - light breezes under afternoon cloud cover and higher humidity. 25% contained. Some mandatory areas reduced to Pre-evacuation status.

June 16 - Light breezes and scattered thundershowers. 55% contained. Additional reductions in evacuation areas.
("Firefighters again made good progress in containing the fire. Fire behavior was reduced to creeping and smoldering due to improved weather conditions. Thunderstorms brought .11 inches of precipitation to the fire area which aided firefighters in their suppression efforts. The storm also produced lightning that ignited three new fires near the Black Forest Fire which were quickly suppressed by firefighters." - El Paso Co.)

June 17 - Scattered storms. 75% contained. Mandatory area reduced to burn area as still some hotspots remain. I still remain in pre-evac status. ("Today’s temperatures will increase slightly with a predicted high of 78 degrees. Thunderstorms will continue their pattern of entering the fire area in the early afternoon with some precipitation expected along with possible lightning activity. Fire spread is predicted to be minimal due to higher relative humidity and cool temperatures.
A continuing threat exists to structures within the fire perimeter due to the potential for extreme fire behavior from gusty winds from developing thunderstorms. The potential for re-burn from remaining hot spots within the ground fuels remains a concern. Firefighters will continue to grid the fire area for hotspots, especially around structures." - El Paso Co.)


Thanks to all of you thinking of us in what is turning out to be Colorado's worst fire.




Fire Facts:

Date started: June 11, 2013
Number of Personnel: 1130
Location: Black Forest, Colorado
Crews: 17
Size: 14,280 acres
Engines: 101
Percent Contained: 95% (June 20)//100% declared June 21
Estimated 100% Containment: 06/20/2013
Dozers: 5
Water Tenders: 32
Cause: Under investigation
Fixed Wing: 3 Type 1, 1 Type 2 and 1 Type 3
Helicopters: 1 Type 1 and 1 Type 3
Structures lost: 511
Max evacuated: 41000
Deaths to Date: 2
Injuries to Date: 1
Cost to Date (June 20): $8,500,000

Military Stats:
U.S. Air Force Academy:

- Five trucks and 16 firefighters (Two structure engines, one brush truck, one water tender, one command vehicle)
- Support to the incident management team
- Emergency Family Assistance Control Center for DoD personnel

Peterson Air Force Base & Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station:

- Two – Type 1 (structure) pumpers
- Two support trucks
- 13 firefighters
- Shelter for Department of Defense personnel on Peterson AFB

Buckley Air Force Base:

- 5,000 gallon water tender + two person crew

Fort Carson:

- Two Type 6 (brush truck) and three water tenders with 9 personnel
- Two CH47 with bambi buckets
- Two UH60 with bambi buckets
- Four D-7 bulldozers on the scene cutting firebreaks on the north side of the fire
- Shelter for Department of Defense personnel on Fort Carson
- Refueling point for military helicopters at USAFA (operated by Ft Carson & serving both active and National Guard helicopters)
- Tactical Command Post at the Incident Command
- Forward Air Traffic Controllers
- Command and Control aircraft for the Incident Commander

302nd Airlift Wing:

- Two C-130 aircraft equipped with Modular Airborne Firefighting System (MAFFS)
- These two aircraft and their crew have flown a combined 12.1 hours, conducted 14 air drops and released more than 37,500 gallons of retardant to date.
- Aircraft operating as the 731st EAS

Colorado National Guard:

- 120 personnel at 17 security checkpoints in Black Forest area
- 20 personnel providing various types of assistance at the incident

- National Guard Communications Element (4-personnel)
- High-clearance trucks and water tenders (5 vehicles; 14 personnel)
- 3 UH-60s with bambi buckets have dropped over 110,000 gallons to date
- 1 LUH-72 Lakota helicopter equipped for aerial firefighting coordination

Additional Information:

Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Peter J. Byrne has been appointed Dual-Status Commander and will work with fire incident commanders. This arrangement allows a single military Joint Task Force to provide command and control for all military forces (Active, Reserve & Guard) supporting the fire.

US military installations are providing residential firefighting engines and crews to allow additional local personnel to respond to the fire. That support includes:

An engine and crew from Ft Carson to Colorado Springs Fire Department
An engine and crew from Schriever AFB to Ellicott Fire Department
An engine and crew from F.E. Warren AFB to Peterson AFB
Black Forest Fire, Colorado
Black Forest Fire, Colorado
Pyrocumulus
Pyrocumulus
Anxious Night - June 11
Anxious Night - June 11
Return Run - June 12
Return Run - June 12
Manmade Rain - June 12
Manmade Rain - June 12
New Fuel - June 12
New Fuel - June 12
Bambi - June 12
Bambi - June 12
Fear - June 12
Fear - June 12
Medical Support
Medical Support
Initial Aerial Support
Initial Aerial Support
WNW - Evening of June 11
WNW - Evening of June 11
Chinook with Bambi
Chinook with Bambi
N - Morning 13 June
N - Morning 13 June
WNW - Evening of June 13
WNW - Evening of June 13
WNW - Evening June 14
WNW - Evening June 14
N - Morning June 15
N - Morning June 15
The Break
The Break
Thank-you's
Thank-you's
Contrast
Contrast