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Old 07-21-2016, 02:48 PM   #1
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Ahhhh.... the smell of Campfire Smoke

Colorado and Wyoming, as well as other Western States, have a number of forest fires burning.

I understand that some enjoy the smell of smoke. Nothing like sitting around the campfire and enjoying the smoke as it moves to each and everyone. 'Smoke follows Beauty' they say. By now my wife and I are professional models for a magazine.

Here on the Colorado Front Range... if the wind changes direction and brings in the gray haze of a thousand or three thousand acre+ forest fire into the area... we have all of the wood burning smoke one can handle. I have to suspect that those enjoying the scent of various campfire woods, would get very tired of what we find as a regular occurrence.

Living among those having a campfire near the tent or under a tree, their campfire progresses into an Inferno, burning for weeks when not properly supervised, as they leave the area quickly for fresher air.

People, here, are asked to stay indoors to AVOID the smoke. Imagine that. Only if it could be compressed into a can and sold as:

Rocky Mountain Forest Fire Smoke in a Can- Fresh- Made in the USA

Of course, I am just trying to get to this important point. Please be careful when camped in the National Forests and enjoying your well kept campfire. There are those who make the majority of campers, who do enjoy a campfire, look guilty from even bringing the subject up.

I should be taking photographs of WHERE I find some campfires constructed by the 'brightest and most ignorant' among the majority. Maybe the careful majority should become 'Campfire Hosts'.
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:55 PM   #2
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Are the majority of wildfires out your way caused by lightening. It's monsoon season.

I've decided to ditch the traditional campfire completely and purchased a portable propane fire pit.

Kelvin
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Old 07-21-2016, 04:00 PM   #3
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Kelvin the fire just west of Denver, Cold Springs Fire, was started by campers who left a campsite and did not put out the fire in their fire pit. They have been arrested for arson.

We see to much of that, at least in Colorado, and certainly our share of lightning generated fires. But here's an old stat that I found. Red is man-made running about 80%.

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Old 07-21-2016, 04:50 PM   #4
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Propane fire pit here too. We live on the west slope of the Sierras and live with the reality of when not if the fire comes. Please drown your campfire.


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Old 07-21-2016, 04:54 PM   #5
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Kelvin the fire just west of Denver, Cold Springs Fire, was started by campers who left a campsite and did not put out the fire in their fire pit. They have been arrested for arson.



]

Good!


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Old 07-21-2016, 06:15 PM   #6
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On a resent bicycle touring trip in New Mexico, between Chama and Tres Piedras there were signs that said if camping in undeveloped camp sites you were required to have a shovel, axe and a bucket.
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:54 PM   #7
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Right now we are good but that changes very quickly. Thunderstorms haven't been popping up yet.
Man it really ruins camping when the smoke gets everywhere.
I have property up by Shasta and last year it was so bad at one point you could't see the mountain 4 miles away. It was like it wasn't there and of course the air quality sucked.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:48 PM   #8
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BE Offended... you are NOT the problem campers!

I do appreciate the responses given on this Thread.

Many campers appear offended when you mention... 'be careful' with your camp fire. Those offended on the Airforums are NOT those that create these massive fires among the Pine, Juniper in the Rockies and the brush fires on the West Coast.

We have found ourselves in several forest fires created by 'campers', usually full timers in the National Forest. The Forest Service monitor these campsites when found, taking down plate numbers, count of individuals and vehicle description. These full timers, move around and try to avoid any contact with others in the area.

West of Roxborough Park, Colorado while hiking, we discovered a permanent tent camp site on the edge of the forest. It appeared to have been abandoned and needed some attention... but belongings were scattered around and heavy items left to the elements. We reported it to the Pike National Forest Service and expected that the camp would have been removed. This is not unusual anymore...

Colorado seems to be attracting a large number of 'Pot Smokers' that frequent the Forests in the area. The last two outside of Nederland, CO in Boulder County, CO sure do not appear to be the regular... getting out to camp out with the family... types. At least they were spotted and later arrested for arson. I suspect that the Colorado 'Green' was their motivation to camp in the Forest. This has not been mentioned, as far as I know. But... not out of the question.

Pot is legal in Colorado. Doing dumb stuff while smoking it, is not.

The last forest fire we found ourselves was located in the southeast portion of the Gila Wilderness and Leopold Wilderness Area in central New Mexico. The smell of smoke and then 'spotter' aircraft flying over were our... first clues. Those who started the fire left the area, but the local Forest Service knew them from previous encounters. We were asked to move further south in the event the wind changed the direction and speed of the fire.

We moved our Airstream and then decided it was best just to remove ourselves from the area and avoid being caught in an active fire.

Large brush fires in California had the smoke blown into the Grand Canyon area for weeks. The smoke settles into the bottom of the canyon and has this blue/grey haze. Not what you expect when out for a vacation. Visibility is impacted to bare minimums.

Dense smoke from distant fires, do affect everyone when you least expect it.

There is plenty of blame to go around from the lack of lumbering to ignorance of safe camp fire habits. It is your responsibility to be aware of your surroundings when using a 'hunter's camp fire pit' or someone who placed a fire pit under a pine tree, as a shelter from the rain...
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:55 PM   #9
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Does anyone know how bad the fire in the Tetons is? We are supposed to leave tomorrow for Yellowstone.
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:05 PM   #10
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Agree 100%. Campfire safety is important no matter the season, where you are, and even if it is your campfire or someone else's. This was a constant message on TV and posters everywhere mostly driven by Smokey Bear and for us that were in the scout program in the western states a few decades ago. Maybe it's not so prominent these days but a campfire should be cold to the touch with your hand palm down on it before you leave it - this means you douse it, stir it with a stick (not your hand), and douse it at least once again with gallons of water (a water bottle just doesn't do it).

For those of us that live in among the trees and the beautiful woods this is a constant concern through the summer months
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:52 PM   #11
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Douglas County, north of Devil's Head, Colorado... Lightning Strike Fire

Here we are discussing the potential causes of Forest Fires and ten minutes ago, a lightening strike on the Front Range, about 20 miles west of us... a plume of smoke on the horizon within dense pine forest.

One second looking on the horizon and the next... a plume of smoke.

Those in this area can also see where cabins have mitigated the area around their homes near this fire.

Again... another fire, this time the Pike National Forest, which has had a number of large fires in the not so distant past.

Calls were made to several Fire groups and many observers had noticed this fire, easily seen from those of us East of the Front Range. This is a difficult to access area.

The volunteer fire station in the area... had a busy signal... and then no one answering. A good sign that they are already on their way.

To the north you can see a thunderstorm with rain and lightening. Here it is partly cloudy and dry.

Devils Head Camp Ground is several miles south of this, currently, small fire in the woods. It is just another reminder how alert one must be when camped in the forest and lightning in the area.

For those coming west and want to know the conditions, currently, find which National Forest is closest and do a Google search of their website.

Thalweg may chime onto this Thread as he has access to the most current conditions in Wyoming and no doubt, Colorado would be just as accessible.
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:29 PM   #12
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When camping out on the woods I've used a few gallons of gray water to douse a fire at the end of the evening.
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Thalweg may chime onto this Thread as he has access to the most current conditions in Wyoming and no doubt, Colorado would be just as accessible.
The best place to find information is the InciWeb. Just sort on the state you want in the upper right corner. The entire U.S. is available.
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

Another good map page from the National Interagency Fire Center:
https://maps.nwcg.gov/sa/#/%3F/42.8553/-107.6786/7

A pretty cool smoke map:
https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=...moke_wildfires
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:38 PM   #14
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Devils Head is also called Sleeping Woman....

Just a footnote to Post 11 concerning Devils Head Campground.

At Devils Head is the Devil's Head Fire Lookout Tower. Colorado's ONLY lookout tower. As I googled for more information on the tower, there is even a telephone number. They are trying to get an exact location and crew(s) are looking...

Devils Head Campground, because of the name, attracts various groups and Devil or Satanic Rituals. It is more for tent camping and 'a large camp fire' is the norm for these people. We do not camp there, but have been in the area where smokey quartz crystals and topaz crystals can be found. It has had other names in the past.

Currently... 'Sleeping Woman' is one, as the outline appears to be a woman laying on her back. Of course, this is more interesting than camp fires, but this area has had unusual campers. For those of us looking up... this granite ridge will have its own weather... cloud, lightning and storms. So, if you are into Strange and the Unusual and like... campfires... this is easily found on a map. I do not know if it has facilities or is a fee area... but where else can you dance around a modest campfire and commune with the Devil?

I would not be surprised if the Pot Community finds this place attractive, as well. Not among the list of Five Star campgrounds. Maybe more in the below ZERO sites that are available in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The smoke plume is still seen and appears to have not increased. I certainly hope so.
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