Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Is Here! - Sixteen Wildfires Burning

When I arose at 5 this morning, it was already 63 degrees outside, and we're expecting a high in the low 90s, and the forecast calls for 90s through Wednesday.  Oh, boy.  Rosie is feeling the heat, and prefers to sprawl on the tile floor in the den; Lovey and Nedi are pretty somnolent and nap a lot; the bunnies lay flat on their sides and pant - I try to get them out of their hutch and into the open pen and shade as much as possible; and I try to be certain the goldfish is out of direct sun shine, and has good air currents...  But it's very warm, and the back of my throat feels itchy, thanks to all the particulates in the air.  I have the drapes drawn, the windows open, and all the fans running in the apartment... Hopefully it won't get too warm - and I do know that they (Lovey and Nedi) both are laying in the bath tub and in the bathroom sink to stay cool.  
  A quick aside:  Congratulations are in order for Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II.  After all her years as a thoroughbred owner and breeder, the Queen won her first Ascot Gold Cup yesterday.  Estimate, a 4-year-old bay filly by Monsun, won the 2 and 1/2 mile race on the turf under the training of Sir Michael Stoute, and the riding of jockey Ryan Moore.  Estimate won the race in a time of 4 minutes and 20.51 seconds, and by 1 3/4 lengths.
   Most of the state of Colorado, including Boulder, is under an Air Quality warning, thanks to the wildfires.  Three of the 16 fires burning have 100% containment, but will continue to burn until all available fuel is consumed.  The fires that are completely contained are the Black Forest, the Royal Gorge, and the Ward Gulch - Rifle Mountain Park wildfires.  The Big Elk Meadows fire in Rocky Mountain National Park is 95% contained, but will probably continue to burn through beetle-killed pines until the first snow fall; the Fern Lake fire is uncontained, and is also expected to burn until the snow flies.  The other fires:
The West Fork Complex fire is the worst, at the moment; the entire town of South Fork is under immediate evacuation orders, and  the road over Wolf Creek Pass is closed.  Over 18,000 acres are burning there in Mineral County, and Windy Pass is also burning and closed to traffic.
The East Peak fire has burned 10,000 acres and is uncontained.  The town of Walsenburg is under pre-evacuation orders.
The Wild Rose fire is estimated at 1,000 acres in Rio Blanco County and is uncontained.
The Lime Gulch fire in Jefferson County has burned 600 acres and is only 5% contained.
The Rifle Gap fire is burning near Horse Mountain and has no containment.
The Bull Gulch fire is still burning without containment in Fremont County.
The Papoose fire is burning near the Rio Grand Reservoir above the town of Creede.
The Disappointment fire is burning in Moffat County and has no containment.
The Wild-Hacking Complex fire  is at 400 acres, and is 15 % contained.  Fire fighters hope to achieve 75% containment by the end of the day; this fire is located 25 miles north of Dinosaur.
The Collins fire is uncontained and is located in the Shell-Piceance Basin.
The Derby Creek fire is uncontained and is located 17 miles north of Eagle.
    Most of these fires were caused by lightning; the Black Forest fire was not, and is being investigated.
** Gee, I can't imagine why the air smells of smoke....  **


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