Posted inEnvironment, News, Wildfire

Pilot killed while fighting wildfire near Estes Park reported turbulent conditions moments before crash

Moments before he crashed Tuesday, a pilot flying in an air tanker over a wildfire burning near Estes Park reported that conditions were turbulent and he planned to return to an airport in Loveland. First responders on the ground then heard the plane, flying a rare nighttime firefighting mission, slam into the ground, according to […]

Posted inClimate, Environment, News, Wildfire

Colorado is expecting another explosive wildfire year, but the state may be more prepared this time

Colorado wildfire experts are warning that conditions are setting up for wildfires as bad as last year, when the three largest forest fires on record burned for months. But this time, they think the state may be better prepared. Millions of dollars, multiple aircraft and coordinated partnerships between local, state and federal agencies are all […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government, Wildfire

Colorado competes with other states for wildfire-fighting aircraft. Climate change makes that a big problem.

When wildfires swept across Colorado and the western U.S. last summer and fall, water- and retardant-dropping airplanes and helicopters that can make the difference between a small blaze and a deadly megafire were difficult to come by.  States were suddenly pitted against each other as federal emergency managers worked to determine who needed the most […]

Posted inColoradans, COVID, News, Outdoors, Wildfire

No mess-tent meals, no giant camps: This is wildfire fighting in Colorado during coronavirus

The base camp for the fourth-largest wildfire in Colorado’s history would normally be teeming with ash-smudged firefighters coming in from shifts on the Pine Gulch fire burning north of Grand Junction. But this camp in a parking lot at the Mesa County Fairgrounds is a mostly deserted lineup of yurts, supply trucks, personal vehicles, shade […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Outdoors, Wildfire

Colorado’s fire season is expected to rate below average this year. But these days, below average is still hardcore.

Colorado wildfire experts are predicting a slightly-below-average fire season, thanks to high snowpack, decent moisture and lower temperatures forecast throughout the summer and fall. But, to put that in perspective, below-average for Colorado means about 6,000 wildfires and more than 100,000 acres burned. “While we appear to have a little quieter fire season ahead of […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Environment, News, Wildfire

Wildfires in Colorado cost $130 million in 2018. Here are the details, down to the $40 daily rate on portable toilets.

KREMMLING — Dozens of empty tents staked on dried-up, end-of-summer grass rustled in a wind-whipped cow pasture north of town. Fire camp was nearly deserted, as the hundreds of crew members working to contain the Silver Creek wildfire had been gone since just after breakfast, fueled by fried eggs, sausage and potatoes. In the distance, […]