Addendum to letter written to Park County Commissioners on 11/17/07 from the NFFPD Board

March 15, 2007

The following is a current example of the Importance of a dry hydrant. A dry hydrant is especially important during winter when the source of water is covered with ice.

On February 27, 2007, the NFVFD was called to a structure fire in Buffalo Creek. The fire was fought throughout the night and until after noon the following day. During this time three tenders (tankers) were used to ferry water from the dry hydrant in Buffalo Creek to the three fire engines on site. At least 25,000 to 30,000 gallons of water were used. Water was being drafted at the rate of at least 596 gallons per minute [1]. Not only were the fire fighters containing the structure fire, but they were also working to keep the fire from spreading to the surrounding forest.

The same potential exists in Pine Grove where the hydrant is located in Elk Creek. If the water flow in Elk Creek is not sufficient, water would need to be ferried at least 2 1/2 miles from sources in Buffalo Creek. It should also be noted that the fire department is already using a low level section strainer to get water from Elk Creek which means that if the water flow in Elk Creek was reduced, water could not be drafted into the tenders. This would leave the entire community of Pine Grove at risk as well as the surrounding forest. This area has already suffered the damages of the Buffalo Creek Fire, the High Meadows Fire and the Hayman Fire.

In the past, water has been utilized from Elk Creek to control fires in the forest as well as structure fires to a restaurant and four mobile homes located in the Mason Mobile Home Park. For the fire protection of the Pine Grove Community, it is essential that the flow of water in Elk Creek be maintained at a level where fire equipment can draft needed water. 

[1] 596 gal/min = 1.327 cubic foot/second

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