SNAKING FIRE
NEWS FOR NEIGHBORS
Park County, Colorado

Bailey, Colorado


Unrelated Structure Fire in Elk Creek Highlands

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Last updated: April 27, 2002

Mike Quaintance Photo Gallery ~ Snaking Fire
First Day of Fire ~ April 23, 2002
(Click on thumbnail for larger photo)
MIKE'S COMMENTS: Two teams of firefighters from Platte Canyon Division “A” walk out at the west end of the High School where the SCAT truck was parked. They had just been pulled off of the fire as it had become much bigger than their capabilities. That was at about 3:30pm and the helicopter had just given up water drops due to the high wind. Cheryl and I met the guys with sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and Coke.
Chopper drop
April 23, 2002
Frontline Firefighters
UPDATED 04-26-02
April 23, 2002
Threatening smoke clouds over school administration building
April 23, 2002
School administration building with smoke clouds overhead
April 23, 2002
Emergency truck near west end of high school
April 23, 2002
Night shot from Rustic Square
April 23, 2002
Day 2 ~ April 24, 2002
(Click on thumbnail for larger photo)
MIKE'S COMMENTS: After Cheryl got home from being “evacuated” out of Bailey, I took the Suzuki up in the woods to see if I could get closer to the back side of the fire. I really wanted to see how far it really was from threatening the closest ridge to the house. It looks like we have a pretty good buffer left before we are in danger – about 3 miles. We will be OK as long as the wind doesn’t blow hard out of the south. I have attached a photo from the top of Crow Gulch and the view is about 1/2 mile over to the smoldering ridge. I also caught one of the “slurry bombers”, a B-29, on its way over to drop on the fire. These guys did an amazing job building fire breaks “one splash at a time” with their loads of retardant. We are supposed to have 5 large aircraft dropping retardant tomorrow. Our son, Kimo, was out working on the fire story for CBS-TV Denver channel 4. I went down to have a quick supper with him and some of his crew. On the way, I caught the photo of the herd of elk in the pasture about a mile below the house.
A few miles north, in the same evacuated valley..
Life Goes On
April 24, 2002
Those beloved slurry bombers. Long may they fly.
April 24, 2002
From the top of Crow Gulch at the back side of the fire.
April 24, 2002
   
Day 3 ~ April 25, 2002
(Click on thumbnail for larger photo)
MIKE'S COMMENTS: Big Gulp is a Sky Crane helicopter drinking out of the North Fork of the South Platte River at the Farmer’s Union. It sucks up about 1000 gallons in 30 seconds. Blue Team is the Chief Mountain Hotshots of the Blackfeet Nation. They are one of several Native American fire crews who specialize in this type of situation. Fire Camp shows a fraction of the equipment here in support of the effort. P-3 Slurry Drop brings fire fighting technology up to the 1960’s. This airplane started out as the Lockheed Electra in the 1950’s and was adopted for anti-submarine patrol as the Orion. Familiar name? That same type of plane was involved in the midair collision with a Chinese Mig and was landed on Hinan Island./div>
Don't go swimming for a while. You might find yourself on a free flight to the fire zone in a bucket.
April 25, 2002
One of the crack teams we thank for saving every single dwelling from the fire.
April 25, 2002
A gathering of some of the best.
April 25, 2002
The Chinese had better keep their mitts off this one.
April 25, 2002
Day 4 ~ April 26, 2002
(Click on thumbnail for larger photo)
MIKE'S COMMENTS: The (747) Sky Crane helicopter sucks up 1000 gallons of water in about 30 seconds. The pilot can then release all or part of the load at a time. This causes a great cascade on a rocky hillside! I got a couple of GREAT sequence shots of the P-3 dropping slurry. I was shooting in a “burst” mode at 7.5 frames per second and got the action from the start to the end over about 30 frames. There is a “fox” airplane leading the “hound” slurry bomber and they often make a practice run or two to get the feel of the wind, the turbulence, and the run-in line before they actually drop. The NOTAR helo is a twin counter-rotating rotor design that has NO TAil Rotor. It is VERY QUIET and seems to pick up a 200 gallon (1600 pound) load with no extra effort! They used to call these things “Eggbeaters” when the design was first produced in the 1950’s.
A model of quiet efficiency, this K-MAX costs far less to operate than more standard helicopters. Notice the absence of a tail rotor.
April 26, 2002
Air attack was going full blast. This is a great shot of the P-3 dropping liquid gold, as far as fire victims are concerned.
April 26, 2002
First it drinks.....
April 26, 2002
...and then it drops.
Hey! I know people like that!
April 26, 2002


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