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This Summer is One of Worst Fire Seasons in Colorado

We are in the midst of one of the worst fire seasons in Colorado history and it’s still June. There are 10 major fires burning across the state. The Waldo Fire, is burning within the city limits of Colorado Springs.
The High Park fire, is burning near Fort Collins and has destroyed almost 250 homes.

But what does it all mean?
How do wildfires burn and grow?
The fire in Colorado Springs grew from just over 6,000 acres on Tuesday to over 15,000 acres on Wednesday. Firefighters said there was a firestorm that pushed the fire to grow faster than expected.

A firestorm is a fire that is so intense that it creates and sustains its own wind system. A natural phenomenon, firestorms are created during some of the biggest wildfires. A firestorm is created as the heat of the fire draws in more and more of the surrounding air. If a low level Jet Stream exists near or over the fire, the air is drawn in even faster. As this occurs, strong, gusty winds develop around the fire, pulling the air inward supplying the fire with additional oxygen. The strong winds change direction erratically. The circulating wind can create fire tornadoes which quickly spread the fire to areas outside of the burning fire.

People and animals near a firestorm can die from lack of oxygen.
Heat from the fire can melt asphalt, metal and glass.
Firestorms can also produce fire clouds which can produce lightning and spark new fires.
Like the Waldo Canyon fire on Tuesday, Wildfires can take on a life of their own, tearing over ridges, changing direction and fighting to survive.

Would you not think that the means of containing a wildfire should be a top concern of our government?

MAFFS

Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems that are inserted into military C-130 aircraft that converts them to large air tankers when needed. The C-130′s can drop up to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant on wildfires. The entire load can be dropped in under five seconds. The U.S. Forest Service has a total of eight MAFFS in its fleet.
Air tankers deliver fire retardant to slow the growth of wildfires and reduce their intensity to assist firefighters constructing containment lines on the ground. Wildfires are stopped by the containment lines. The fire inside the lines usually burns itself out.

How is it possible that we only have eight of these at our disposal, when the safety of our population is at risk?

More than half of the active federal wildfire-fighting resources are in use in Colorado.


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