Don’t upset Smokey

Sep 122010
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Smokey the Bear wants you to help prevent wildfires.

Well, Smokey: It’s time to unleash your animal fury as fire agencies across the state investigate three fires believed to have started at the hands of Colorado’s own people.

After starting Monday morning, Boulder County’s Fourmile Canyon fire has burned 169 homes west of Boulder and earned the title of the worst fire in Colorado history.

According to the U.S. Forest Service’s latest report on the disaster, the cause of the blaze has been classified as “human.” Initial theories said that a crash involving a propane tank was responsible for lighting the fire, but recent reports speculate that a resident’s Labor Day fire pit is suspect.

As of Saturday, about 1,000 firefighters worked to contain 73 percent of the fire’s approximately 6,500-acre reach.

As if that wasn’t enough, a grass fire started a mile north west of Carter Lake in Loveland Sunday morning, evacuating dozens in the surrounding area. The blaze grew to 600 acres and destroyed one home, four outbuildings and one recreational vehicle, as of Sunday at 5 p.m., according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Though the cause is unknown (as of Sunday afternoon), neighbors told the Reporter-Herald they had seen a large bonfire Saturday night.

Sunday, too, took fire agencies to a 20-acre fire in a wildland area north of Arvada. That fire, started by a model rocket, has since been contained.

So what does this all mean? Don’t be stupid, folks.

Colorado is dry right now and without much rain.

Don’t light off fireworks here in town or the country. Water your lawns and don’t light fires, both at home or at the campgrounds.

Essentially, remember this simple fact: don’t anger Smokey the Bear.

For tips on fire prevention and education, visit

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