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small fire at Big Sky

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Mid-day Sunday at Big Sky a fire started under Swift Current chair at the first short face going up the mountain. This is the chair used in the summer for mountain bikers and hikers. Two fire trucks and a water truck put out the fire before it did much damage. Monday the fire fighters manually checked the area for hotspots. My guess is it burned an area about 150' long under the chair and a few dozen trees to the left of the chair as you face uphill.

People can be so dumb. The Forrest Service fire fighters said it was almost certainly started by a smoker riding on the chair lift. They also said it was lucky that it started so close to a ski run. The run acted as a natural fire break and prevented the fire from spreading quickly into the nearby woods. No real damage done this time but I'm sure it cost thousands of dollars to put out the fire. Glad the sequester did not cause these firefighters to be layed off. We were lucky.

post #2 of 5

Never ceases to amaze me.  I was driving behind some idiot in the Pine Barrens about a week ago and within a stretch of a mile they threw 3 butts out the window. That area is very prone to fires.

post #3 of 5

down here the government responded to bushfires by mandating that cigarattes contain fire retardant .

 

(Then the government warns you that smoking stuff, like fire retardant, will kill you. biggrin.gif

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post

.... They also said it was lucky that it started so close to a ski run. The run acted as a natural fire break and prevented the fire from spreading quickly into the nearby woods....

The beneficial effects of things like ski runs need to be remembered when faux, anti-development enviros talk about ski areas, or even just one new lift, being the end of the world for forests. 

 

On a micro level, a little judicious thinning and cleaning in BC areas can be a real benefit in terms of reducing fuel available for hot fires.  It can be striking to go to areas that are basically choking with fuel in some cases, and see that policies are in place that basically prevent skiers and mtbers among others from helping out in a way that reduces fuel.  Hopefully at some point soon that will get re-thought.

post #5 of 5

If you want to see forests choked with dead, dry fuels look no further. The area around Big Sky is overloaded with beetle killed larger trees and an unfathomable amount of dead and down lodgepole pine.

 

There is some $$$ available for fuels reduction but it is difficult to get for in ski area thinning.

 

Our Wild land tender was also sent over the Big Sky because if a fire does break right now with these temps. and low humidity it will be off to the races as soon as it hits the first stand of trees, ski runs or not.

 

We need some rain.
 

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