Smoke Gets In Our Skies

I was out on a pretty hike on the Shanahan Ridge Trail on Labor Day (6 Sept 2010). It was a breezy bright blue Colorado morning which made this dark cloud seem ominously out-of-place…

My First View of Fourmile Canyon Fire 6 September 2010 @ 11:30am


It was the beginning of the Fourmile Canyon wildfire. The weather was ideal for the birth of a monster wildfire; a dry wind had been gusting since early morning through the dry forests. The fire spread quickly west of the City.         

The Fire Quickly Spread West of the City of Boulder


According to the Daily Camera, as of Sunday 12 September 166 homes were destroyed and 6,427 acres/2,600 hectares were scorched in the foothills west of Boulder making this the most destructive fire in terms of property damage in Boulder County history. Fortunately it appears that no one was hurt.  We don’t suffer earthquakes and hurricanes but we do get dangerous fires;  this is the risk we take to live in or on the forest’s edge. Boulder County has one of most developed wildland-urban interfaces in the West.       

Soon the heroic efforts of the firefighters (some of whom lost their own homes) and the rains will begin the recovery. In the years to come the habitat will recover for the humans as well as the wildlife and we will scurry back into our beloved forest. This is just too attractive a place to abandon for long. Perhaps we will learn more about promoting sound forest management practices from this event.                     

The sun was an eerie red color all day long making it’s setting look like a science fiction scene…                      

Smoky Sunset Over Boulder Foothills


The iconic flatirons were softened by the smoke this morning…


Boulder's Smoky Mountains


The fire is west of the City of Boulder threatening mountain towns. Here’s a view looking north from the Lost Gulch Overlook (39.990573,-105.320617) on Flagstaff Road. Note that the north end of the City of Boulder is uncharacteristically on the right (east) in this shot…                 

8 September 2010 @ 2:45pm Lost Gulch Overlook


Here many anxious homeowners are overseeing their properties. Note the Continental Divide in the background…                

Anxious Homeowners and Fire Watchers


 This outcropping made an ideal perch to observe the the scope of the fire…                

Rugged Country and Vulnerable Habitat


  …and the efforts to put out the blaze…                

Putting Out A Fire


 We were joined on our perch by this little spectator…                 

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) Joins The Spectators

6 Responses to “Smoke Gets In Our Skies”

  1. Anne Guthrie Says:

    Hi Rich — according to the various TV weather reporters the words “smoky” and “smoke” seem unknown; they have unflaggingly used “haze” and “hazy” — ambiguous if not empty vs. the information-laden smoke.

  2. richwolf Says:

    It sure smells like smoke )~:

  3. World Wide News Flash Says:

    Smoke Gets In Our Skies « Tales from the Trails…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  4. Barbara Neulight Says:

    Absolutely magnificent photos.

    I think you should submit them to CNN news!

  5. richwolf Says:

    Thx Barbara (~;

  6. The Creation of the Boulder Flatirons | Tales from the Trails Says:

    […] Smoky Flatirons Captured 7 September 2010 @ 7:37am  during Fire Season! […]

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