Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It could be a very different C.B.C this year

This morning I awoke to white flakes falling on my car. It wasn't a Colorado early snowstorm. It was ash falling from the Four Mile Canyon fire burning just outside Boulder, Colorado.

I first heard about the fire late yesterday, and other than seeing the glow from a distance, didn't get close or see anything photo worthy. This morning I left early, with the idea of doing a bit of birding or getting some shots of the flatirons in front of the fire. Instead I found that the changed wind direction, and morning inversion, was laying a think blanket of smoke from my home, up past my work, and on into Boulder.

I headed into the office early, and may head out later if there is a wind change to get some shots. Sadly, this fire is already consuming homes, but no one has been hurt, and hopefully it will be contained soon.

I am not sure yet if this fire is burning in the Betasso Preserve area of the canyon, (the area that I have counted in for the Boulder Christmas Bird Count each of the past two years), or higher up. The Gold Hill neighborhood has been mentioned frequently, and that seems to be a bit beyond the preserve area. Whether or not the area is burned, I hope it remains a part of the Boulder CBC circle. Counting through burn areas can help to track the changes of wildlife in those habitats over the years that follow. Regardless of which areas the fire ends up burning it is sure to cause a great deal of impact on human property, as the entire area is scattered with homes.

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