Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Russell Graham; Mark Finney; Chuck McHugh; Jack Cohen; Dave Calkin; Rick Stratton; Larry Bradshaw; Ned Nikolov
    Date: 2012
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-289. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 110 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (23.9 MB)


    The Fourmile Canyon Fire burned in the fall of 2010 in the Rocky Mountain Front Range adjacent to Boulder, Colorado. The fire occurred in steep, rugged terrain, primarily on privately owned mixed ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests. The fire started on September 6 when the humidity of the air was very dry (¡Ö <7%) and the winds were steadily blowing in the range of 15 miles per hour and gusting to over 40 miles per hour. These conditions prevailed for most of the first day when the fire burned approximately 5,700 acres and destroyed 162 homes. Because of the windy conditions, aircraft could not be used until late that first day. The first responders concentrated on evacuating the occupants of the 474 homes in the fire vicinity. No public or firefighters were injured during the course of the fire. This outcome was directly related to the excellent preparedness of Boulder County and, in particular, the Sheriff's Department and the local fire districts. Fuel treatments had previously been applied to several areas within the fire perimeter to modify fire behavior and/or burn severity if a wildfire was to occur. However, the fuel treatments had minimal impact in affecting how the fire burned or the damage it caused. After the initial day of intense burning and 4 additional days of relatively benign fire behavior, the Fourmile Canyon Fire had burned 6,181 acres and become one of the most damaging fires in Colorado's history. This report summarizes how the fire burned, the damage it caused, and offers insights to help the residents and first responders prepare for the next wildfire that will burn on the Colorado Front Range. More Information

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Graham, Russell; Finney, Mark; McHugh, Chuck; Cohen, Jack; Calkin, Dave; Stratton, Rick; Bradshaw, Larry; Nikolov, Ned. 2012. Fourmile Canyon Fire Findings. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-289. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 110 p.


    Google Scholar


    wildfire, Fourmile Canyon Fire, Colorado

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page