Wildfire Information

The following is a list of several sources of information concerning wildfires in the Colorado region as well as nationwide.

Current National Fire Situation Report
Association for Fire Ecology
Joint Fire Science Program
National Interagency Fire Center
Society for American Foresters

Colorado Fire Seasons
 
Colorado experiences episodic fire seasons, with some years having moderate or little fire activity; yet other years may overwhelm the capability of regional and national fire management resources. The 1994 fire season in Colorado will be remembered forever because of the 14 firefighters who lost their lives on the South Canyon fire near Glenwood Springs. As tragic as the events on Storm King Mountain seem, especially to the family and friends of those who died fighting the fire, it is helpful to reflect on what we might learn from the fire and its management. The public agencies with fire management responsibilities took many lessons to heart in developing a revised federal fire policy. We also need to realize that fire is an inevitable agent of change in Colorado's wildland ecosystems.
 
Fire also struck closer to home for the Colorado State University community several days earlier than the South Canyon fire. On July 1, 1994 the Hourglass Fire (pdf) destroyed half the buildings on the university's mountain campus at Pingree Park.
 
In fact the 1994 fire season was not unique in terms of fire activity in Colorado nor the US. The graphic shows how annual area burned in Colorado tracks with US totals. Note that although burned area in Colorado during 1994 was high, 1989 had higher burned area. What distinguished 1994 in Colorado from other years was the preponderance of large fire incidents that occurred in the month of July, following low moistures and record high temperatures. In addition to the South Canyon and Hourglass fires, a series of incidents around Grand Junction (e.g., Buniger Fire) and Durango (Mitchell Lakes Fire) stressed regional and national firefighting capabilities during this time period.
 
Fire Trends