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Was anyone else in the area of the Ryan fire prior to it? I hunted south in CO 161 and left the day before the fire. We had 2 in our group leave the day of the fire and from the pictures it looked pretty wild getting out of there. Anyway I was amazed at the # of people in the area ignoring the fire ban the week prior. Absurd dry conditions and people were acting like it was no big deal. I see on the INCIWEB they are investigating the cause but I am pretty darn sure I know what the cause was. 20k acres today hope everyone stays safe out there.
We were close, though in WY -- got evacuated the day it started. I was blaming it on Colorado hunters purely out of bigotry, so it's good to have those thoughts confirmed!
As I was headed to Colorado south of Laramie...
Ryan fire on the 2nd day. (Sunday)
We were out there and were planning to hunt the area but were told the area was being evacuated. Never got to go in there.
I was a few miles south west of the fire and blamed it on Colorado ATVers out of pure bigotry. I did see a campfire smoldering one night. The next day the owner left the fire and went for a joy ride. I didn’t know this but another ATVer stopped and asked if we had spare water to put it out. We did not but gave him a bucket with lid and he filled it at the creek and put the fire out. We brought along with us a wood stove but with the conditions so dry we didn’t chance using it even though a few mornings were in the 20s. Drove out Sunday and the smoke on the north of th 230 road to Laramie was thick.
Ryan Fire day one
Ryan Fire day one
It's too bad, a lot of hunter have their hunting plans ruined by idiots who ignore those fire bans.
I was 2 miles from it when it started. Crazy thing, we were hiking out Sunday AM, after the fire had been burning for several hours, and knew nothing about it until we were well down the road and looked back and saw smoke coming up. I know for a fact there was no weather the night before. It had to be caused by something someone did. Looking at the map today and that fire burned right through areas I walked. Lots of beetle kill in there, and I would hate to be in that when a fire was going.
The fire continued
The fire continued
This is from the Snowies on Sunday the 22nd. Still rolling.
Here is the Ryan fire the night it started. I would bet large sums of money it was started by a hunter's cigarette butt. I was coming off Black Mountain and that fire is just below Dinner Park. This spot has no real trails and is a popular spot for day hunters. I'd be more concerned about about mentioning specific locations but apparently everybody and their brother already knows these spots. Unreal crowds this year.
AndJ that looks like it was almost at the road? There are always a couple of camps in that stretch of road, same folks every year. And yes crowds were by far the worst I have ever seen.
I know right where you were now, Andy! But I'm pretty sure cigarettes are not the most commonly-smoked product in Colorado, so there are other possibilities. I agree with your assessment of hunter density, though.
320-It's about 1.5 miles from the road. It's actually a little south west of Dinner Park.
Deertick- Nobody throws out a roach. Also, and I mean no offense to ML hunters, but I ran into a surprising number of ML hunters with a cigarette in their mouths.
Looking north from steamboat a couple nights ago...the helo was coming in from the Silver Creek fire
"Deertick- Nobody throws out a roach."
haha! At the price of dispensary weed, who can afford to roll one? Too much wasted smoke!
Lost my phone the Day we got evacuated, so, no pics!
Sucks when you just get your primary area figured out, and then have to re-think everything!
I guess I didn't realize how small the Rockies were!!! elkmtngear I gave my phone a bath the day before we left so I know how you feel but here is one that I was sent. This was taken from the road past where the smoke is coming from in Andj's pic on Sunday at around noon I think.
I was a few miles away and saw the smoke once I woke up from a mid afternoon nap. I remember it was really windy that day.
Is there anyone on bowsite who was NOT within 10 miles of this place? Jeez, we should'a had a get together, though it sounds like parking would've been a problem.
I was also close to there...lol. It was burning when we arrived and burning when we left. Closest we got was driving into Steamboat from the north.
I hunted there a few years ago - actually right in Dinner Park. There were hunters everywhere which actually worked in my advantage for once.
I was below Dinner Park (quite a ways) and had a spooked cow come blasting past me - quick cow call stopped her - double lunged her - 1/2 mile from the road. Nice pack out.
Sucks that area is burning up.
“Sucks that area is burning up.“
Wrong. It needed to burn
Cnelk ... absolutely ... and I know you know that I know you're right. We've walked a few miles out there ... sure, deadfall is all over the Rockies, but that is one of the real bad spots. Some nearly unusable be man or elk.
Agreed- a burn is the best thing that could happen to the area. It just sucks that it happened during archery season.
Deertick, I was there when Wilt scored 100 points in an NBA game!
Ok, not really, but from our camp we could see both the Spring Creek fire behind us and Ryan in front. Do I get two participation ribbons? :-)
Sounds like everyone was there...... I was in the Zirkels Sept 1-9. My hunting buddy with a ram tag (anyone see any sheep?) and I came across two guys camped on a ridge top at dark one night. It had just hailed and rained pretty good and they had a fire started trying to dry out their wet gear. They had no tents, only tarps and hammocks. The next morning before sun up we hiked back by there camp an they had bailed out of there at some point at night. I felt the fire ring and coals and they felt warm. The next day we hiked a different drainage. The 2nd day after we saw them we hiked back by their camp and found a 2nd camp fire ring a bit farther off the trail and discovered a 10 foot x 10 foot area of burning-smoldering duff/pine needles, roots and small logs. We took pictures, recorded video and collected a lighter and some unburnt trash from the area. We called the Sheriff to report it and gave specific location and we dumped all the water we had on it. There was no way we could put it out without shovels or hoes. We decided a fire 600 yards from our camp on that ridge could get out of hand fast so we decided to pack up camp, load the horses and leave a day early. On the 6.5 mile trail down about 1/2 way down out we ran across 3 wild-land firefighters making their way up the trail. We recounted the events gave specific coordinates and headed down the trail to the truck. They bailed out that night too and planned to be back in the morning. It's dry out there still be careful!
PS Any sheep sightings to report? Please PM me or post here as we are headed back up this weekend for the last week of the season. Thx
Sandbrew I guess I am not surprised at all based on the idiocy I witnessed. I assume folks don't really understand the danger that a fire presents to us all. Need to burn yes but unexpected fires in those conditions with that many people in the back country is pretty dangerous.
I did get up top and glass some really beautiful country to the south of Buck mountain one afternoon but I saw nothing but humanoids, no sheep.
It is unbelievably dry up there. We camped up the mountain to Buffalo Pass Tuesday last Tuesday night and there was no dew in the morning despite low temps at night.
This won't be a surprise to anyone that was in the area, but Ryan fire officially listed as human caused. From fire report:
Ryan Fire Current Situation:Wildland fire investigators have located the origin of the fire and preliminary investigation indicates that the fire was human-caused; likely the result of an escaped campfire. The fire does remain under investigation and anyone with information that may assist in the fire investigation should call the fire information line at 307-314-9408. Investigators are particularly interested in activities occurring in the area along National Forest System Trail 1152 (Encampment Trailhead to the north, Diamond Park Trailhead to the south), and in the extreme northern tip of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness along the Encampment River located in the Routt National Forest.
Rain knocked it down Monday night, but going strong again last evening. This was taken just north of the Colorado border.
I never have a campfire while hunting. What's the point? You end up smelling like smoke, and have to deal with extingiushing it. If your cold, add clothes or get in a sleeping bag
I enjoy a good campfire but we're usually too worn out to mess with it. As it should be.
Sounds like one fire would have been sufficient for half the bowsite. No wonder other OTC areas were void of people, they were all up there.
It's in WY now and I can't get to my area to hunt for my cow elk, since they have the roads blocked and rangers posted. I spoke to the Forest Service and they stated it won't be out until rain or snow comes.
Great Dinner Park was my honey hole now its gonna be wreaked since its been plastered all over the web.....
Now that is funny right there.....
Geez... did you all shake hands on the trail??
Dang, thats a popular area! I will have to put it on my list of places never to go hunt elk!