Environment

Video and photos: Tumbleweeds meet fire whirl in Rocky Mountain Arsenal

The tumbleweed invasion is nigh. Over the past few weeks, gaggles of the rolling desert shrubs have taken over portions of central Colorado, clogging streets and driveways, and trapping a few residents in their homes. Some communities around Colorado Springs have even resorted to clearing away the plants with snowplows.

But for a few firefighters this month, tumbleweeds briefly became a real danger.

On March 13, personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, and three local fire departments were conducting a prescribed burn at Rocky Mountain Arsenal when a fire whirl swept up thousands of loose tumbleweeds.

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Adam Roy is a contributor of Westword, a former editor at Outside and Matador Network, his writing has also appeared in Paste, High Country News and other online and print publications nationally and abroad.
Contact: Adam Roy