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US Summer Fires

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#1
Vesper

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No one on GDC from Colorado Springs is there?

http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-18639894

#2
Trotsky

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My parents were planning a trip to Denver but cancelled it because of a death in the family. They pretty much would have not gotten to do anything because of the fires anyway if they went so it all worked out.

#3
Vesper

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It's really scary! I was terrified about bush fires whilst I was in Aussie land, it was like my main fear... but this is so... real. The closest I ever got to one was driving in the car and seeing a pillar of smoke in the distance where someone had thrown a cigarette out there window near Melbourne...

#4
ChuckTaylors

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A friend of mine's parents live in that area, but have not been affected from what I know, but they live pretty close.

#5
lizziebix

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My parents were planning a trip to Denver but cancelled it because of a death in the family. They pretty much would have not gotten to do anything because of the fires anyway if they went so it all worked out.

John, what about the flooding in Tampa from Debby? Were you affected?

#6
Sweet Armataged Chump

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This is really sad. I usually don't follow wildfires but I have a little with this one.

pictures https://www.google.c...iw=1344&bih=740
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#7
Trotsky

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John, what about the flooding in Tampa from Debby? Were you affected?


Here in East Clearwater our house is on some of the highest ground, last Saturday the street in front of us briefly turned into a lake, we had to put towels against the backyard door and drain the pool multiple times, and my car almost stalled out once, but nothing too bad for us.

Although some of my friends were stranded inside their houses for a day because every road around them was too deep under for a car to pass.

#8
GreenDayisAmazing

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It's really scary! I was terrified about bush fires whilst I was in Aussie land, it was like my main fear... but this is so... real. The closest I ever got to one was driving in the car and seeing a pillar of smoke in the distance where someone had thrown a cigarette out there window near Melbourne...


Somebody threw a cigarette out the window in AZ on the highway and it started of fire. I think they did it a few times because it a happened in a few places down the highway. Alot of people I know dont believe that really happens, but in dry places it does.

#9
Trotsky

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People need to stop being dumb shits with cigarettes in cars.
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#10
lizziebix

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Here in East Clearwater our house is on some of the highest ground, last Saturday the street in front of us briefly turned into a lake, we had to put towels against the backyard door and drain the pool multiple times, and my car almost stalled out once, but nothing too bad for us.

Although some of my friends were stranded inside their houses for a day because every road around them was too deep under for a car to pass.

Glad it didn't affect you too much.

#11
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These fires, the storms in Appalachia, Debby ... Jesus. :(

#12
Trotsky

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2012 and all that shit. Though really, disasters come and go, sometimes all at once. I remember 2 years ago, when I went to Helsinki, at the time Russia was on fire even worse than Colorado, and then the Russian kid on the plane ride back was telling me how fucked up it was in Moscow with all the smoke and ash in the air.

Also back in 2007, Georgia and Northern Florida was on fire and one day in high school there was so much smoke that it came in through the school and the hallways were literally a haze. Me and my friends skipped Spanish class just to stare at the smoke.

#13
Frank's Penis

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There was that volcano thing last year. I live in a newsless hazy bubble, I found out when I went to pick up some hotpants and the guy said "oh, they've been delayed by the volcano". Wat.

#14
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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So, yeah, I'm kind of in the middle of the major fire zones. Denver itself has been more or less spared. Boulder (not too far from me) had a fire on the back side of a mountain, but it never made it down into town, largely because of rains. I was driving in to Longmont, the only dumbfuck city in Colorado that's allowing people to shoot off fireworks in their yard, the day the High Park Fire started. It was actually about 40 miles from me at that point, but it was so huge already (a couple of hours after it blew up--it had probably been smoldering for a couple of days at that point) that I thought it was in Lyons--fifteen miles or so from my house as the crow flies. That fire was (and is) huge, and it was deceptive, too. It jumped across a river and started burning towards a fairly large subdivison, then that spot was considered to be more or less contained until the winds shifted--again--a couple of days later and sent it right up into the houses.

One fire that really stung for me, even thought it's been glossed over nationally because it was a one-day fire, was the Last Chance fire. Last Chance, in case you've never heard of it, was one of Colorado's ghost towns, but not for the usual reasons. It used to be a busy tourist stop, and then I-70 came along and bypassed it. There were a number of cool old buildings out there, along with a handful of residents who hadn't moved to Denver, Limon or Fort Morgan. What sucked about the Last Chance fire was that it wasn't a forest fire. Even Waldo Canyon, which grew incredibly rapidly, only grew by 10,000 acres in a day at its fastest. The Last Chance fire was a grass fire. The upside of grass fires is that they're "easy" to contain. The downside is that if the grass is dry enough, they move as fast as the winds are blowing--and the winds blew it from 0 acres to 44,000 acres in 12 hours before it was contained. That's almost three times the size of the Waldo Canyon fire, and just under half as big as the High Park fire, which both took well over a week to reach the sizes they have.

The hardest thing about the Last Chance fire for me is that Last Chance is gone. The whole burn area is land I'm very familiar with from chasing, and there are plenty of landmarks out there that may well have burned. I might take a trip out that way in the near future to see what's left. Sadly, this is probably the nail in the coffin for the Last Chance area entirely. That'd be a shame, as it was one of the coolest places you never knew about in Colorado.

And then there's the Waldon Canyon fire. There are other fires burning, but not really anywhere near us. Waldo Canyon is hard to stomach because it was almost certainly arson. Teller County (where the fire started) had been dealing with a serial arsonist who was out lighting forests on fire for a week or more before this fire went up. The Waldo Canyon fire was actually started three days or so before it exploded, thanks again to the 100-plus heat and crazy winds last week. I have a couple of friends who were put on pre-evac notice down there, one of whom was out of work for almost a week while waiting to hear if his office had survived. It did--by about a quarter of a mile. I think the image linked below shows how fucked-up the winds were:

http://www.denverpos...nshipId=4498507

Last Tuesday night, there was talk that they might evacuate all of Colorado Springs, which would have been a mammoth undertaking and essentially shut down eastern Colorado for a few days. The roads can't handle that, and there aren't enough hotel rooms in Denver and Pueblo combined to accommodate everyone. Even the 2007 San Diego fires, which scared the ever-loving shit out of me, weren't as intense and fast-moving as Waldo Canyon was. Seeing the images out of Colorado Springs was just unreal.

For the record, we were never in any danger here, and we almost certainly never will be. We have homes on three sides, and even though we're on the fringe of the subdivision, we have a horse farm behind us and very well-irrigated cornfields beyond that, not to mention a distinct lack of tall, dead grass or large, tightly-packed trees. Still, though, things got very smoky here a few times, and I actually ended up losing my voice for a day after Colorado Springs exploded, entirely because wind was pushing smoke from three fires right the hell over our house, and even our air conditioner couldn't keep up.

It seems like the lower temperatures (relatively speaking) and the higher humidities of late have slowed things down, which is good. Now, someone please send us some rain...



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