For those of you unfamiliar with how fires get thier names....a little background.
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LAKE GEORGE, Colo. (AP) - There have been Western wildfires
named Cheddar Cheese and Devil's Bathtub, Storm King and Coal Seam.
From the whimsical to the dramatic, wildfire names now come from
some prominent geographic feature identified by the first
firefighter on the scene.
It wasn't always that way. Firefighter Marilyn Sagerstrom
remembers a blaze 18 years ago that got its name from a snack
carried by Jan Rice, the first firefighter who responded.
"He had a box of cheddar cheese crackers, so he called it the
Cheddar Cheese fire," said Sagerstrom, 71, an information officer
with the Lefthand Canyon volunteer fire department near Boulder.
The 120,000-acre blaze charging through the pine-covered
foothills of the Pike National Forest south of Denver is known as
the Hayman Fire, after a ghost town in the area. The fire was named
by Forest Service employee Larry Klock.
The Coal Seam fire that burned more than 12,000 acres and
destroyed 29 homes near Glenwood Springs earlier this month took
its name from a long-smoldering underground coal fire that burst to
the surface and ignited brush and trees.
One of the worst wildfire disasters in U.S. history, a 1994
blaze that killed 14 firefighters, has become known as the Storm
King fire after the mountain where the crew died. Officially, the
blaze was known as the South Canyon fire.
As of Wednesday, there were more than a dozen large fires
burning across the country, including the Miracle Complex in
Colorado and the Rodeo fire in Arizona. A smaller blaze in New
Mexico was called the Dad fire.
Dave Nyquist, chief of the Lefthand Canyon fire department, has
named many fires in his career, but his favorite name was Devil's
Bathtub.
"The fire was around the big rocky knob that looked just like a
bathtub, and there was water inside, but it was a lot hotter than
you'd want to get into," he said.
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On the Net:
National Interagency Fire Center: http://www.nifc.gov

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press