12 September, 2010. A forest fire kept local and state fire fighters busy today. Called the Reservoir Road fire, this fire grew aggressively with the help of easterly surface winds.

Fire NW of Carter Lake, Loveland, Colorado. Copyright Gaussling 2010.

Carter Lake is one reservoir in a water distribution system that receives western slope water pumped from Grand Lake, Colorado. The water moves down the pipe seen in the photo below (diagonal white line) and into Flatiron power generation station that recovers some of the energy invested in pumping it over the continental divide.  The power station discharges the water into Flatiron Reservoir, wher it is divided into several streams feeding municipalities from Boulder to Ft Collins.

Heavy lift helicopters in action, Reservoir Road fire, 9/12/10. Copyright Gaussling 2010.

A steady stream of aircraft arrived from the south to deliver red-colored fire retardant to unburned areas adjacent to the fire area. All of the heavy aircraft followed behind light aircraft over the drop zone. All aircraft observed what you might call a left hand pattern over the fire area, meaning that approach was from the SE and only counter-clockwise turns were being conducted.

Slurry Drop, Reservoir Road Fire, Loveland, Colorado, 9/12/10. Copyright Gaussling 2010.

Th’ Gaussling’s brother lives on the edge of the fire warning zone, so there are some nervous moments to bear while this thing plays out.  My brother was on his mountain much of today monitoring the situation. There was a visible uptick in wildlife fleeing the area.

For my brother and sister-in-law, this has been an eventful weekend, starting out with the family dog (puppy) receiving 3 strikes by a rattle snake. The dog and a 2-foot rattler had an encounter resulting in the dog receiving one invenomation in the tongue and two in the jaw. The dog went into deep agony in minutes with his tongue swelling to the size of a medium cucumber within an hour. Luckily, the dog received prompt treatment at the vet hospital and after 30 hours of touch and go, has survived the ordeal.  

The rattler wasn’t so lucky. Tragically, an axe fell on it 8 or 10 times, sharp side down.

The dog, a pure bred of some variety, has been advised that he will soon go into a vigorous breeding program to recoup the several thousand dollars of vet fees. The dog declined to comment.