Monday, June 11, 2012

The High Park Fire

At 9:00AM on 6/9/2012 a fire was reported in "High Park" NW of Fort Collins. At this time I was hiking up the Hagues Peak in the North Eastern area of Rocky Mountain National Park. I was only a couple miles away from High Park when I topped out on Hagues Peak a little after 11AM. I didn't realize this was a new fire, I thought it was one of the previous fires. I thought I'd share the chronology of pictures I got of the fire from this unique high vantage. The time/date stamps are accurate. Note- these were all taken from above 13,000 feet but at different places in the Mummy Range.

Wide angle shot at 11:19 AM

The burn area is tiny at this point

Unfortunately this is the only picture I have from 12:21 PM

Wide Angle Shot at 12:56 PM- look at the contrasting black and white smoke

Close-up at 12:56 PM

Close-up at 12:57 PM

Wide Angle shot at 1:20 PM
Zoom shot at 1:20 PM

Final shot

 This final shot, just 3 hours later at 2:10PM, you can tell that the fire is much, much larger than it was before, and making a lot more smoke.

This fire grew rapidly and went from 3,000 acres when I got back to the car from my hike on Saturday, to 40,000 acres by Monday night. Unfortunately one life has already been lost to the blaze. This area is really dry and has a fair amount of "beetle-killed" trees- a fire was perhaps inevitable.

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