A Wildfire “Perfect Storm” Parallel

 

During an interview this past June with America’s Radio News Network, Jeffrey Berino, wildfire investigator expert, referenced the words “perfect storm” when describing the atmospheric conditions at the outset of the numerous wildfires raging through Colorado right now.

4.45pm, the blazing inferno of the Angora Ridg...

Unfortunately, it seems these conditions are not exclusive to the Colorado landscape. According to Edward Ortiz of the Sacramento Bee, there is a fear in California that a “super fire” comparable to the 2007 Lake Tahoe Angora blaze will occur once more. The Angora fire, as it is colloquially known, started on June 24, 2007 from an illegal campfire and quickly grew to consume 3,100 acres. This devastating incident cost $11.7 million to contain completely.

Ortiz goes on to elaborate on how “weather fluctuations” and “climate change” have led to longer fire seasons and drier winters (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/01/4602541/fires.html). These conditions, as well as gusty winds, are what contributed to the onset of the major fires here in Colorado, including the Waldo and High Park Fires.

These exact circumstances also existed at another point in time in 1910, just before the Big Burn devoured a large portion of the western landscape in the U.S.

Though times and technologies are different now than in 1910, the fear that another conflagration comparable to the Big Burn wildfire still holds sway over many people…including wildfire experts such as Jeff Berino, who believes not only that the conditions are ripe for another large wildfire, but that investigators also need to be on track with technology and standards for determining the origin and cause in the aftermath.

Read Jeff’s latest article about the 2012 wildfire situation here

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