Set by a Saturday lightning strike, according to the Larimer County sheriff’s office, the High Park Fire burning west of Fort Collins in Colorado has burned more than 43,000 acres and taken one life. It’s already one of the worst fires in Colorado history and, fueled by the dry conditions and tinderbox beetle-kill forests that have become the norm here, it is a harbinger of fires to come.
Posts Tagged Beetle Kill
U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, both Colorado Democrats, sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson today seeking clarification on the EPA’s ability to facilitate third-party “Good Samaritan” cleanups of critical watersheds contaminated by hard-rock mining.
The combination of an enormous mountain snowpack that’s just starting to melt and suddenly hot, summer-like temperatures and high winds has first responders across Colorado nervously eyeing both swollen waterways and tinder-dry forests and grasslands.
The foothills and flatlands of Colorado’s Front Range in and around Denver have so far only seen about a third of the average snowfall typical for this time of year, making March – normally one of the wettest months – an unusually active time for wildfires.
While Al Gore’s passion for the environment helped him ascend to the highest political offices – and earned him a Nobel prize and an Oscar — he told a symposium audience in Aspen Friday night that the Colorado forests he learned to love on a road trip 40 years ago have plunged into despair no thanks to rising temperatures, poor political will and tiny insects.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for delaying for three years carbon dioxide emissions permits for biomass boilers that convert wood and other plant material into energy. The move is significant in Colorado because backers of biomass energy say that more 2 million acres of national forest land hit hard by a mountain pine park beetle epidemic could be tapped to generate hot-water heat and electricity that would actually replace dirtier fuel sources like coal and natural gas. The EPA delay makes that process more realistic.
Former Vice President Al Gore will be in Aspen in February to attend what’s believed to be one of the first major public symposiums linking global climate change to the deteriorating health of forestland in the American West due to ongoing insect infestations and the growing threat of wildfire.
Another wildfire burning in Colorado’s high country has raised the alarm over how crispy and dry the recent fall weather has been, and rekindled the debate about climate change and the ongoing pine beetle epidemic.
According to 9News.com, a 450-acre…
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall today fired off a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Gov. Bill Ritter requesting a formal study of Boulder’s highly destructive Fourmile Canyon Fire.
Udall, who requested a similar study after the state’s largest…
Wildfire season in Colorado took a while to get going but now appears to be in full swing in late summer, with a blaze near Loveland claiming two homes and spreading to 900 acres over the weekend just as firefighters gained the upper hand on Boulder’s Fourmile Canyon Fire.