Thursday, June 20, 2013

AAARGHH! Smoke Fills the Air Again! More Wild Fires!

New Colorado wildfire prompts new round of evacuationsWifey convulsed in a constant hacking, coughing attack around 2 a.m. It was so bad I had to rush her some extra inhaler as well as cough medicine (a new, more effective brand than the stuff I've been taking). Obviously, her bronchitis had been triggered into calamitous heights and I could smell the culprit in the house and outside: smoke. Smoke permeated the air like being at the bottom of a damned chimney!

On waking this morning, I turned on the tube to learn there were now two more fires burning in our state, even as the Black Forest Fire is "95 percent contained". There is one in Walsenburg - about 40 miles south of us- which has now burned over 350 acres, and another to the north, in Jefferson County, just south of Denver.

So, we will get smoke one way or the other, and fortunately that will likely be the only problem (it's enough when you're battling bronchitis) as both fires are far enough away not to force any mass evacuations.

Meanwhile, the knowledge that the U.S. has let its inventory of  large slurry planes (the main ones- like the P3 Orion air tanker-  to fight these fires) slip to ten is depressing. TEN planes to fight mammoth fires across the west? That is insane! If these fire seasons are to be the new normal, as one CSU professor has opined, then we need at least four times that many slurry planes.

Anyway, stay tuned. I hope I can soon report these new fires are under control. So far the one south of us is zero percent contained. And the rest of the week looks dismal: high fire danger with temps in the 90s, winds, low humidity. Where's the rain when you need it?

No comments: