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« Olds College, Alberta, during Fibre Week | Main | Scenes from the Burke Gilman Trail, Seattle, part 1 (and High Park Fire note) »

June 27, 2012


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I have no words.

Deborah Robson

Beth, the only way I can cope is by learning specifics and demystifying what's going on. That doesn't make it any less awesome and awful, but it gives me a way to understand. My words are all about interpreting the phenomena.


This reminds me of the B.C. fires of a few years back. My sister and her family were evacuated but the fire luckily stopped at the ridge behind her house. Scary stuff. How is the air quality at your place? The smoke was a problem for folks in Kelowna I remember. In addition to the over 200 homes, the community was most upset about the loss of the heritage train trestle bridges. It's the old beloved landmarks that make people really sad. Pine beetle infestation lead to forest fires here too.


We're at the top of a ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains in CA and are always aware of a fire possibility. We have cut back more brush than usual this summer, but the reports from CO of winds with huge embers traveling long distances is truly sobering. I was in Colorado Springs a few years ago for the WARP (Weave a Real Peace) annual meeting and can truly imagine the horrors you are facing. Stay safe.


I can't imagine having to live with this threat so near and visible every day and to think it's only been 8 days with this much damage! And likely to go til July 30th?! Wow. Is the government stepping in to help? Not that I have any idea what they could do.

I feel so anxious for Colorado, her people and animals.

Stay strong, keep coping, and investigating/learning. I think your posts about the fire help your readers, too. It's great to have a better understanding of what's going on.

(On a personal note, I can't believe you looked up long enough to notice my birthday, which was just lovely, never mind comment on it. Thank you, my friend!)

Deborah Robson

Cara, we were hoping the fire would stop on the ridge just south of our friends' home (as everyone previously hoped it could be contained south of the Poudre River). I'm really glad your sister's family came through okay. It's true that the historic places are hard losses. In addition to the Stove Prairie School, I have favorite locations (some built, some natural) in the Buckhorn and Rist canyons that will likely be gone, or never the same. Many people will feel the same about the Poudre Canyon, which gets more traffic (but is still very rural and mountain-community-feeling . . . I have favorite places there, too). Mishiwaka, for example, is a long-time concert venue up the Poudre (and finally under responsible management).

Anne, our friends had very defensible space, but one side of the house had some brush that persistently grew back.

Dina, the government is VERY involved. Cooperating agencies include (from a Larimer County update):
* Larimer County Sheriff's Office
* Colorado State Forest Service
* Colorado Department of Public Safety
* Colorado State Parks
* Colorado State Patrol
* Colorado State University Police Department
* Fort Collins Police Services
* National Guard Military Police
* City of Fort Collins
* Colorado State University
* Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department
* Poudre Fire Authority
* Loveland Fire Rescue
* Glacier View Volunteer Fire Department
* Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District
* United States Geological Survey
* numerous utility companies
* additional support agencies

Plus not listed but that I know about:
* Red Cross (of course)
* Salvation Army
* local 211 assistance center
* Larimer Humane Society
* CSU vet school
* other vet clinics offering free boarding
* dog daycare centers providing free daily care to established clients

and more, including massive community donations of food and other supplies for firefighters and those affected by loss of access to their homes.

Edited to add the
* US Forest Service
very involved and not listed above in the county survey, which seems to be focusing on state and local involvement. I'm sure there are others really obvious and not included.

Deborah Robson

Inciweb has amazing maps of the High Park Fire on different dates, including a progression map of how the fire has moved. http://inciweb.org/incident/maps/2904


When I lived in Eugene, OR, fires were much more "present" in my awareness. Places I hiked, or the fire on the ridge across the valley when I was very young. Now, living in the east, PA, it's easy to hear the news and not have it quite sink in. Thanks for helping me to hear the news with some additional human story.

Deborah Robson

You're most welcome, Janet. I have a number of friends who have been on pre-evac, evacuated, or have lost their homes. I'm focusing on the friends who are actually with us, because that's the story I'm most aware of.

And while I find the BIG picture gives me context, and the INDIVIDUAL pictures give me meaning, the middle view is just a muddle that causes confusion, rather than clarity.

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