As fire managers in the drought-stricken Southwest gear up for another long and expensive wildfire season, federal fire scientists are trying to better understand the physics behind what makes blazes spread.
Despite Colorado’s higher than average snowpack, there’s no guarantee it will reduce the risk of wildfires in 2014. That’s why state, federal and military personal are taking the lessons learned during the severe 2012 and 2013 fire seasons to be better prepared.
Flexing its firefighting air power, the Colorado National Guard and wildland firefighters are conducting aerial fire suppression training exercises at reservoirs across the Front Range. When preparing for the upcoming wildfire season nothing is being left to chance.
They’ll be more air power available to fight wildfires in 2014 than in recent years. The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho says up to 17 “exclusive use” air tankers will be placed strategically across the country, ready to deploy when fires erupt.
Colorado’s historic floods, coupled with the 2012 wildfires, were especially punishing for many Northern Colorado recreation areas. Six months after the water receded, officials with the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest are still working to gauge the extent of the damage.