‘Good’ fire burning in Great Sand Dunes NP; questions raised about air response in last year’s California Station Fire
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Los Angeles Times reported today that a U.S. Forest Service delay in ordering air tankers to attack August 2009 Station Fire in California may have been a critical factor in the explosive growth of the blaze, which quickly grew into biggest-ever wildlfire in Los Angeles County.
L.A. Times reporters examined Forest Service records, finding that a request for air tankers was not processed through a joint regional operations center in time to make an early run at the fire. Fire experts in the Los Angeles area are calling for an investigation to determine whether the order was delayed as a cost-saving measure. Forest Service officials said the agency took all steps to deploy planes quickly. Read the full story here.
Controlled burn at Sand Dunes
In Colorado, The Alamosa Valley Courier is reporting that the National Park Service is managing a “good” fire near Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park. The fire has spread across about 295 acres, burning dead ground cover, grasses and pine needles, helping to reduce fuels that could result in a more serious fire in the future. The fire was sparked by lightning earlier this month. It’s burning about four miles north of the Park visitor center.
Park Service officials are using the fire as a way to educate visitors about the beneficial role of some fires to natural ecosystems. Read more …
“The Medano Fire is a good example of a natural, lightning caused fire that is providing positive benefits to the ecosystem, while having few impacts on park activities,” said park supervisor Art Hutchinson. “This gives us a great opportunity to take advantage of these benefits and allow the fire to perform its natural environmental role.”
Check the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit for official updates on fire conditions in the region.
Filed under: forest fires, forests, public lands, Summit County Colorado Tagged: | Forest health, Forest Service, Great Sand Dunes wildfire, Station Fire, Summit County, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Wildfires