View Full Version : Fire Concern for Colorado Hunters

08-04-2005, 06:30 PM

I'm not trying to overly alarm or keep any of you out of the forest, but...

If you are or will be hunting in a heavy pine beetle kill area, it would probably be a good idea to have an escape plan in mind if a fire got going.

As a kid we used to gather up the used Christmas trees for a bonfire and those brown dry needles were extremely explosive. Sawtooth or others can surely explain the danger better then myself.

Like I said, I'm not trying to scare anyone off, I plan to be out in a heavy beetle kill area myself. I work in these areas and thought I might be negligent in not saying something to my fellow hunter board members.

As I look over these areas I've been thinking about general wind directions (is there such a thing in the mountains?) and where I might have to run to. Knowing where to find a good flowing stream to dunk yourself in might be prudent. A good idea to really look over your maps if it's new ground.

On the up side, we have been getting a lot of rain in this same area, which has so far been keeping the lightening in check. Also some have said the grasses will do better with less water being drunk up by the trees? Again so far the undergrowth here has been nice and green.

These units are ones I'm familiar with although I'm sure there is a lot more. I tried to search up a CO beetle kill map but struck out. Again, maybe Sawtooth or others here might know.

Units: 18,28 are the worst close to me and 37 is getting worse.

It's not going to stop me from going out, but I'll be watching light storms and have some kind of idea where to run.

Good Luck and Be Safe!

08-04-2005, 07:02 PM
Good thing to consider Chris.
Another reason for carrying GPS and sat. phone.

08-04-2005, 08:58 PM
I will add to what Chris57 posted about beetle killed stands of timber. If you're in the PJ (pinon/juniper) areas you also need to be watchful and thoughtful. The Ips Beetle has killed as much as 50% of the trees in some areas. I've seen these trees literally expolode during fires and they burn fast and hot. The other problem is that when the pine beetles kill a tree it dies off very quickly, the needles all fall off and cover the ground under the trees. Fuel. I was on a fire caused by lightning half the night last night, and the duff under the tree was the problem. It was very hard to put out. Safe zones during fires include wetlands, clearings with low grass, rocky areas, stands of live aspen, etc. Hazardous areas include mid-slope stands of timber, timbered draws, areas of high, dry grass. Most of us here are aware of daytime upslope winds and nighttime downslope winds. Wind follows terrain like water flowing in a stream.

Here's a link with info about the MPB, but I don't have an infestation map. The problem is that nearly the whole western 2/3 of Colorado would be red!

08-07-2005, 12:19 AM
Good lucks folks, I lived through the Canberra fires Never again.

08-07-2005, 06:02 AM
No Sat phone,no GPS, but I do carry a scanner with FS frequencies in dry years. The FS fire weather report is given out several times a day, besides NOAA weather. If something happens ,I have a chance to find out the threat from the chatter.
Montana is drying out fast, with heavy vegitation from more than average spring rain. Now we are experiencing fires breaking out, and travel restrictions. Officials seem to put the restrictions on quicker, and leave them on longer as the years go by. Hopefully the woods won't get shut down as has happened several times in recent history.
In the past there has ben an August singularity that brings rain/snow, to alleviate the situtation.
Such a pain cold camping.