Dog Island burned down - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-16-2015   #1
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,766
Dog Island burned down

Last night on Ruby-Horsethief. Went to bed around 1030 to a lightning show, woke up at midnight to smoke and ash in the air and a crazy orange glow on the wall and sky above Black Rock camps. We assumed it was a lightning strike and sat up timidly watching it approach the ridge behind camp. Railroad came through in service vehicles and told campers to evacuate, but shortly after the rangers motored down and told everyone to stay put. Turns out the group at Dog Island decided the fire ban didn't pertain to them and that it was appropriate to set off fireworks. They lit up the island like the 4th of July and the flames jumped the river and climbed up the ridge on the south bank..... I would imagine some kind of legal consequences will be forth coming...

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Old 08-16-2015   #2
Louisville, Colorado
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Old 08-16-2015   #3
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whoa. thats some unexpected craziness.

Could have started a big ole forest fire without too much trouble. good reminder to be smart with your fire.....whatever form it takes
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 08-17-2015   #4
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2011
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There should be a dozen or so folks that never get a permit anywhere - ever!

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Old 08-17-2015   #5
San Jose, CA, California
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do you have any photos from the burn?
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Old 08-18-2015   #6
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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I don't. It was about a mile upstream from us. In retrospect I wish I would have snapped a few, but it wasn't priority at the time.
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Old 08-18-2015   #7
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Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
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Sad to hear there are idiots everywhere!

That happened up here a few years ago - guy was charged criminally and had to pay (will be for the rest of his life) restitution for property loss and fire fighting costs - fire burned homes and ended up in the 15K acre range. His bill is 3-4 million dollars. Very stupid mistake they'll be paying for for A LONG time to come!

Man accused of starting Bear Trap fire charged with felony arson | Crime and Courts |
"If you dont do it this year, you will be one year older when you do"
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Old 08-18-2015   #8
Paddling Since: 1989
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I was at Mee Corner Sat Aug 15 with a large group, and smelled the smoke from the fierce winds that night, wondering who on earth had a campfire at first. Then I hiked downstream on the trail with concern for my large group and saw the fire. Thoughts of leaving crossed my mind, having seen the Mee Mouth fire remains several years ago. Seeing the fire run up the ridge to the opposite direction of our camp, we stayed put but lost a lot of sleep no doubt.

I did not take pics passing the site Monday after 2 days at Mee Corner. It was devastated. Old 70 year old cottonwoods to all the new ones now no longer providing shade. I spoke to the BLM rangers, seeing the fire fighters still on the fire line, and helicopters dropping water on such a nice site that Dog Island has become still at 10am Monday after the Saturday fire. With the new permit system, 2 individuals have been cited for launching fireworks with further citations/penalties to be determined

The fireworks they ignited started a fire that burned the entire island and destroyed an estimated 100 trees - at least 30 acres.

THINK out there please people.

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Old 08-18-2015   #9
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
That sucks and it leaves our community with another black-eye. It seems some heavy legal recourse should be in order. I know poachers can have their equipment confiscated which seems like a potentially fair outcome in this case. As well, hunters who commit certain crimes can be banned from obtaining permits and licenses for a period of time; maybe the USFS, BLM and NPS should implement such universal measures when a user commits such gross negligence. Another person in jail does no good and there is only so far a cash award will go to recuperating cost of fire fighting, etc. Punitive measures that make it clear this sort of selfish activity will not be tolerated seems like the least that should happen to discourage activities that harm the land and recreation.

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Old 08-18-2015   #10
Evereywhere, State of Bliss
Paddling Since: 2000
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Poachers deserve the punishment of losing their license for life.
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