Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Colorado Wild Fires Catch Nation's Attention

Colorado has been prominent in the news due to the spread of wild fires. One of the largest fires, the High Park Fire, began 15 miles west of Fort Collins with a strike of lightning.  Currently, the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs doubled in size overnight and has forced the evacuation of more than thirty thousand residents.  Reports indicate that this is the second worst wild fire in Colorado history.

 The dry conditions and a record low level of snow pack is fueling the fires. Record-breaking temperatures, strong winds and thunderstorms are also hampering efforts to control the fire. "The fire conditions could not be worse," said Anne Rys-Sikora, spokeswoman for a multiagency fire response team. "It is like a convection oven out there."

About half of the nation's large wild fire personnel are now focused in Colorado, reported US Forest Service chief, Tom Tidwell. The US Forest Service has been given assistance from the Air Force through the loan of four C-130 cargo planes to drop fire retardant or water. President Obama is scheduled to visit the Waldo Canyon area on Firday "to view the damage and thank the responders bravely battling the fire."

We wish those fighting the fire strength and continued safety. Our thoughts are with those who have suffered loss due to the fires. Here is information of how you can help.

Angelica Oman
Graduate Program Assistant