Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fourmile Canyon Fire in Photographs

Last year a member of Californiadisasters named James Nelson who lives in Colorado sent me a series of fascinating photos over several days time of the disastrous Fourmile Canyon Fire as it occurred. I have his permission to share them with you here albeit belatedly as the one-year anniversary of the start of this disastrous fire is less than a month away.

This fire burned 6,181 acres as opposed to the largest fire in that state's history, the 2002 Hayman Fire which burned over 138,000 acres. However, the Fourmile Canyon Fire destroyed 169 homes versus the Hayman Fire's 133 homes destroyed.

The airport pictured here is the tanker base at Rocky Mountain Metro AP in Broomfield, CO. Tanker 21 and Tanker 25 are P-3 Orions while Tanker 45 and Tanker 48 are P-2V Neptunes. The helitankers are S-64 Sikorsky Aircranes manufactured by Erickson Air-Crane thus making them officially Erickson Air-Cranes. The Type-2 helicopter is a Bell 205 "Huey".

All photos are posted in the order they were sent to me.

 Tanker 25

 Tanker 25

 Tanker 25 with Denver, CO, in the background

 Tanker 25 with media and gawkers

 Tanker 25

 Overhead heading back to the incident command post

 Incident Command Post (ICP)

 Manitou Springs water tender refilling at ICP

 Road block into the evacuated zone

 Helitanker 733

 Helitanker 719

 Unknown helicopter unit with bucket

 Fourmile Fire burn area

 Fourmile Fire burn area

 Fourmile Fire burn area

 Tanker 21 and Tanker 25

 Tanker 21

 Tanker 48

Tanker 45


All photos by James Nelson (all rights reserved)


  1. Thanks for sharing the pics. I remember the fire, the smoke was so thick it blocked out the sun for two days.

  2. Picture identifying "Tanker 21 and Tanker 25" shows a Neptune P2V (note paint scheme and two engine w/ jet pods) on approach and an Aero Union Orion tanker parked. The tanker on approach is most likely Tanker 45 from Neptune Aviation Services in Missoula, Montana. Tanker 45 has a fire retardant capacity of 2,700 gallons with six door retardant dispensing tanks.

    Thanks for posting pictures!