That's the main problem. We became so afraid of fires, and kept knocking them down so quickly, the fuel just built up and up and up. Happened with the fires here in San Diego, where some of the brush hadn't burned in 50-60 years.
Glad to see the containment #'s rising, sucks that the weather is so hot.
In San Diego, we ended up in 2003 with 2,820 buildings (2,458 homes) destroyed, 16 people killed. In 2007, it was 1912 (1246) with 7 killed. Really, really scary. Praying that they don't lose control again of this one in CO.......
That Springer Fire has some major growth potential for the next two days. Firefighters ought to be able to slow things down when we get east winds for the next two days after that. But if they can't get some lines built, that one'll grow like crazy too.
Well, the High Park Fire is in unit 19, and right next to the Hewlett Fire in 191. Unit 19 is all north facing slopes of the Poudre Canyon. Currently it's a crappy place to hunt and amongst the lowest success units in the whole state, usually single digit success rates. Almost the entire unit is a monoculture of beetle killed black timber. However, it's an extremely popular unit because it's right next to Fort Collins, and at one time harbored decent elk hunting. Then, with CWD management, the population was reduced to about 1/3 of the population of about 10-15 years ago, and along with the timber issues, the unit has really lagged since the late 90s (I think).
This fire will be a huge help in improving the habitat and huntability of the area. Despite what everyone thinks, it will not be a complete burn. There will still be strips and patches of timber left to harbor elk and deer.
It will displace a ton of bears and you can expect to see them in town shortly.
The Hewlett Fire was in the middle of a Bighorn Sheep and mule deer area with a few elk. I doubt it will help the elk hunting as it burned what little timber there was in that area. However, it should attract a lot of deer, though I doubt it will increase the carrying capacity at all. 191 is mostly the south facing slopes of the Poudre (north side of the river). It was already the dry side and didn't have much for heavy timber. So in this case, I'd say it will hurt more than it helps.
The Little Sand Fire in 77 is in the midst of a huge stand of heavy timber, though not beetle killed. I'd guess it will be a huge help to both the deer and elk, but like the High Park fire, will probably cause a lot of bear problems this year. I don't think it opened up any habitat for sheep though. But, it is along a major river, and there could be some canyon country opened up that the sheep could use. I doubt it though. More likely the deer will use it more heavily in the future and elk will use the area in later seasons.
That was one thing about the fires out here that was actually good. The amount of browse is created the folowing couple of years helped out our deer herds tremendously. The racks got bigger, and the success rate went up from 7% to about 12%. Fawn survival went way up too.
As long as the animals can get out of the way of the actual fire itself, what's left can be a blessing in disguise.
They set some backfires! I am seeing smoke up high and to the West working down a ridgeline to the East!! No smoke on either side of this fire line! Doesn't have the look of a spot fire! I will have to do some checking!!
One of the most important components of deciphering a new hunting area is distinguishing between the summer and winter ranges for the game that you plan to pursue. Without knowing this you cannot make reliable assumptions about where the game will be come opening day. Knowing these areas will allow you to take the current weather (as well as the past couple weeks) and apply that to the landscape and make an educated guess as to where you might find that big buck or bull.
There are a couple ways...