What Exactly Are These ‘Burnouts’ Used by Colorado Firefighters?
By now you've heard of firefighters using "burnouts" while battling the 416 Fire in Southwestern Colorado. What exactly does that mean?
Upon hearing the word burnout, certain images come to mind. The concept, though, as useful as it is, can be a little hard to grasp.
According to the National Park Service, the definition of a burnout is:
Setting fire inside a control line to widen it or consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line.
It's probably safe to assume this is the very definition you had in your mind. Still, the idea of setting a fire to prevent a fire takes a little getting used to. Then again, this is a time for desperate measures.
Below is footage from a burnout near Crater Lake in Oregon a few years back. I drove right through this area shortly afterward. It's amazing the way crews managed the burn, thus protecting nearby structures and surrounding forestry.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, tomorrow's (Wednesday, June 12) temperatures will be hitting the upper 90's. The National Weather Service predicts a slight chance of rain this weekend across Western Colorado. While no monstrous rainfalls are predicted, forecasters expect moisture will be enough to at least make the ground wet, hopefully assisting firefighters.