Truly, the ONE downside to living in Colorado: WILD FIRES.
This is day four of the Black Forest Fire, now dubbed the most destructive fire in Colorado history. It's surreal to think I'm living ten driving miles from the southern edge of this massive burn. It has spread so quickly to the north, I'm amazed, because let's be honest . . . IF it has spread an equal distance to the south, the entire north end of the springs, including OUR house would be in the burn site. I'm sitting in my backyard this morning, watching the world wake up and typing up a blog -- but for the grace of a wind out of the south.
Newscasters and community members keep talking about last year's Waldo Canyon and keep comparing it. I'm thinking there's really no comparison. It's just "what we know" and our current point of reference. Waldo Canyon was terrible, don't get me wrong and even though I just said it kind of annoys me when newscasters make comparisons, I'm going to do it anyway. Waldo Canyon's burn took a couple of long weeks to burn up 18,000 acres of land. The Black Forest Fire has done nearly equal damage in only four days. I think the most devastating facet of this fire is the loss of homes. I know, I know, last year, homes were lost too, but it does seem different. Last year, the fire started in in the back woods and residents had lots of warning . . some even spent days on pre-evacuation notice or were asked days in advance to make a voluntary evacuation. This year, news coverage of the fire started at about 2 pm, only about 30 minutes after it sparked. By 3:30, we were looking at live aerial video of homes burning to the ground. No notice. No chance to get your firebox, even IF you had it packed. No opportunity to get your pets, your photos, your important stuff.
Though we have friends that were impacted (greatly) by last year's fire, we have MORE friends impacted by this one. We know three families who have likely lost everything. One home is on the total loss list. One home is not on any list, but the entire "street" of winding pine driveways is on the "total loss" list. It's horrible, just tragic.
We have friends that have evacuated from the pre-evac zone and have moved in with us for at least a few days. I'm glad to have the distraction for me AND the kids. I'm glad to have a sister-wife in the house. Sigh.
This morning, isn't too bad . . but I bet it's gonna be another smoky day in Colorado.