Opinion: High Park Fire hits close to home| Page 4 PAGE 3 Fighting West Nile CSU and UNC researchers team up on a new drug THE RO CKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGIAN Fort Collins, Colorado Thursday, June 28, 2012 Volume 121 | No. 4 www.collegian.com THE STUDENT VOICE OF COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY SINCE 1891 COLORADO STATE’S FIREFIGHT Explaining the ﬂames By KAITIE HUSS The Rocky Mountain Collegian food preparation staff needed to be flexible in its scheduling. “A lot of times we’ve ran out of our main course and we always have to think on our feet and create a backup plan,” King said. Often the kitchen staff will make lasagna or spaghetti due to the small amount of prep time it requires and the amount of calories it can quickly provide. Regardless of what they are served, the firefighters are grateful for a hot meal and a place to sleep after a long day on the front lines. “They have been so thankful for it. It was so cool looking at their faces the first night they came in. I think they weren’t expecting to be provided what they were,” said Courtney Lornz, a sophomore music A metal structure in North Park lies in pieces, warped from the intense heat of High Park Fire flames. Feet away stands a wooden information booth, unscathed and surrounded by what seems to be a halo of bright green grass. While firefighters battle to extinguish the flames of the High Park Fire— which has burned 83,205 acres as of Monday— others seek to explain it. The fire resulted from a lightning strike, according to fire investigators. Sher Schranz, senior project manager with Colorado State’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, said that this tree was actually smouldering for days before the flames broke out. It was the perfect combination of factors: low humidity, copious amounts of dry fuel and abnormally high temperatures that contributed to the spread of the fire. According to Schranz, the current precipitation rate in Colorado is 40% below the normal level and has been low for about seven to eight years. In addition, dead trees from the beetle kill built up a pile of dry fire fuel, according to Schranz. Monique Rocca, an associate professor of wildland fire science at CSU, said the location of needles from the dead pine trees will have an effect on the way the fire burns. “If the dry needles are still on the tree, it’s more likely to torch,” Rocca said. “Needles that have already fallen from the dead trees will burn at the base but not have as much effect on the canopy.” Rocca clarified, however, that beetle kill trees did not cause the fire. This is evident due to the several other fires throughout Colorado not affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle. “This fire would have happened with or without the beetle kill,” Rocca said. One of the biggest instigators to the High Park: temperature. According to the National Weather Service Forecast Office, the Denver-Boulder area of Colorado is currently experiencing temperatures 10-15 degrees higher than average. See PINGREE on Page 5 See SCIENCE on Page 5 PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PAT RASTALL Pingree Park’s staff poses in Nomex clothing, which is what ﬁreﬁghers wear. They were issued the clothes as a safety precaution due to the High Park Fire. Pingree students feed firefighters By KYLE GRABOWSKI The Rocky Mountain Collegian After Pingree Park was evacuated on June 12 due to the High Park Fire, CSU senior natural resources major Kelsey King went rock climbing in Crested Butte with nine other staff members. They received phone calls on June 15 between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. telling them Pingree Park, CSU’s mountain campus, would be set up as a spike camp to house firefighters and asking if the staff would return to work. “We were so excited to be given the opportunity, so we packed up all of our camping stuff and got back to Fort Collins as fast as we could,” King said. Other employees responded the same way, coming from as far as Lander, Wyoming, and 24 returned to Pingree on June 16 to help however they could. “Our main mission is to feed and support these fire crews from all over the country,” Pingree Park Director Patrick Rastall said. “They sleep in tents, some of them sleep in out buildings, it’s like a little city up here.” The Pingree staff serves breakfast and dinner in the camp’s dining hall, while the fire crews eat military MREs for lunch. Breakfast is served from 5:30 a.m. until 8 a.m., while dinner begins at 8:30 p.m. and can last until as late as 11 p.m. depending on when the last firefighters return. “They have a basic caloric requirement of 6,000 calories a day,” Rastall said. “They go crazy out there with all of the energy they burn.” Due to the large number of firefighters housed in Pingree at a given time, as many as 180 per meal, the “That’s probably the best part of it, is when [victims] see their own animals again.” Rene Scalf | Supervisor of Critical Care Vet school takes in victim’s animals By MICHAEL ELIZABETH SAKAS The Rocky Mountain Collegian When High Park Fire evacuees receive news that their houses have been destroyed in the flames, it’s likely they will believe that everything went with it. “A lot of these owners really felt like their horses had been burned in the fire because they had already lost their house and knew they had lost their house,” said Haleigh Lundgreen, a fourth year veterinary student at CSU. “Some of these owners coming in, just going around from horse to horse hugging and crying and just being super appreciative of what we’ve done.” At the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of CSU, more than 130 volunteers, students and employees have been treating and boarding the displaced animals of the High Park Fire victims. 109 dogs, cats, birds and other small animals have come through the hospital, which has been serving as an overflow shelter for the Larimer Humane Society since June 11. “That’s probably the best part of it, is when [victims] see their own animal again,” said Rene Scalf, Supervisor of Critical Care Services at the hospital. “That’s probably when the most emotion comes out, when the people coming in have no idea if their animal made it out or not.” See VET on Page 5 High Park Fire stalls summer rafting By NIC TURICIANO The Rocky Mountain Collegian CSU alumnus Robert Breckenridge refused to evacuate his home in the Poudre Canyon when the orders were given. He chose instead to defend his home with a garden hose, and though his neighbor’s garage burned, the flames ig- nored his property. Breckenridge was able to save his home from the High Park Fire, but he’s afraid that he may not be able to save his business from it. That’s because Breckenridge owns and operates A1 Wildwater, his 31 year-old Fort Collins rafting company that’s one of five restricted from running the Poudre River due to the fire. The closures, now having lasted almost three weeks, make a large impact on an industry whose season is only 100 days long. And the shutdown isn’t only affecting CSU grads, but current students as well. See RAFTING on Page 3 the STRIP CLUB Colorado’s largest ﬁres Fire is no stranger to Colorado. In 2000, the state saw a surge in the amount of acres burned per ﬁre. Here are some of the largest wildﬁres in our state’s history. Hayman 2002 137,760 acres 133 homes Terry Barton, a former Forest Service professional, pleaded guilty to arson charges for starting this ﬁre in Southern Colorado. High Park 2012 87,284 acres 257 homes Originating from a lightning strike in Paradise Park, this wildﬁre continues to burn, preventing over 1000 people from returning home. Missionary Ridge 2002 70,485 acres 56 homes A discarded cigarette began this ﬁre that burned outside of Durango. Yuma County 2006 23,000 acres 0 homes This ﬁre ignited as the result of a downed power line, broken by powerful winds in Yuma County. Bircher 2000 19,709 acres 0 homes A summer lightning storm began this ﬁre that cost the $5.6 million dollars to ﬁnally contain. Waldo Canyon 2012 15,517 acres ? homes With an estimated 32,000 people currently evacuated from their homes, it is not yet known what started this ﬁre, and it continues to grow rapidly. To follow the current wildﬁres burning in Colorado with an interactive map, visit collegian.com. NIC TURICIANO | COLLEGIAN Brad Modesitt, owner of Mountain Whitewater Descents, and Ben Costello, manager, stand in front of kayaks on their business’ property. Mountain Whitewater Descents has had to close for the ﬁrst time in its 12 year history. The Strip Club is written by the Collegian staff.