Monday, June 11, 2012

Here We Go Again…

(Photo from TimesCall.com)
The High Park fire in northern Colorado has now consumed approximately 37,000 acres (as of the time I'm writing this post) and damaged or destroyed more than a hundred structures, including many homes. The conditions are nothing short of hell on earth: reports of fire rampaging at an estimated 40 feet per second, flames reaching as high as 300 feet into the sky, smoke plumes rising to 23,000 feet. Residents and firefighters alike tell stories about being chased by walls of fire and barely reaching safety. Some residents left pets and livestock behind. Fueled by dry, beetle-kill timber and driven by high winds, the fire shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

This is certainly no time to be quibbling about semantics and typos.

But I have to give a shout out to radio station 850 KOA. About 3:30 p.m. today, I tuned in to the Dave Logan show just in time to hear Dave talking about the fire with traffic reporter Vicky Evans. Listening to the two of them, it quickly became clear that they both have a good grasp on firefighting operations and terminology. Their correct usage of wildland firefighting lingo established a credibility that, sadly, many other news stations lack.

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you know how many times I’ve ranted about reporters and writers who don’t even attempt to do their homework when it comes to fire-related stories. That certainly wasn’t the case today.
 
The news Dave and Vicky were delivering in that segment was bad, but it was almost a pleasure to listen to them because they got it right. No bumbling or stumbling, no wrong words at the wrong times, no making up crap to fill air time. Just solid facts related in a way only a firefighter could appreciate. Kudos to them.

Many people have been affected by wildfires across the nation. Please keep them and the firefighters in your thoughts, and fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a long and bumpy fire season.


For information about wildland fires happening across the country, check out InciWeb, the Incident Information System, at http://inciweb.org/.

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