Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Monday, June 11, 2012

The Larimer County Colorado High Park Fire June 2012

[Another High Park Fire Update --- Finally this monster is 93% contained as of today, June 30. Totals are rolling in now and it burned an amazing 87,284 acres and destroyed 259 homes and killed one woman. Smoke and ash remain in the air and will for some time to come. The mop up and clean up efforts begin now.  The rain we received a few days ago has washed residue into the Poudre River and it runs black now.]

[A High Park Fire Update --- The fire has consumed over 65,000 acres as of June 22. A minimum of 189 homes have been destroyed, untold hundreds, perhaps thousands have evacuated their homes. It is about 50% contained, but is still changing course, flaring up, and has not in the least died, or even went to sleep.]

This is my very favorite spot. That is why I chose it for the title picture of my blog. My trip up to the top of Bingham Hill yesterday was not as serene as usual.

This is what it looked like during the day.

This is what it looked like at night.

The scene was like looking at a horror movie or a war movie.  Can the area ever recover?  Yes, nature will prevail, just as it has had the fire in its power for two days, it will also recover the land. 

It is hard to believe this is just the start of the wildfire season.  We have had numerous small fires, and then the Hewlett Fire in May, and now the grand daddy of fires in this area -- the High Park Fire.  The conditions are perfect for this calamity --- hot dry weather, low snow this winter, very little rain this spring, plenty of beetle killed trees for fuel and then add erratic and strong winds that twist and turn their directions so the fire gets to dance wildly from place to place.  A disaster waiting to happen.  The report at bedtime was an area of 20,000 acres have burned and there is 0% containment.  Human lives and animal lives are the primary concern at the moment.  Property damage will be untold millions. 

It is wonderful to live in Northern Colorado, it is so pretty and vibrant, but all things come at a cost and this wildfire is the one we are paying right now.  For the folks living up the Rist and Poudre Canyons, [plus now Glacier View, Red Feather Lakes, and Livermore] say a prayer to God, or the force you believe in, to sustain them in this tragic beginning to summer.   Patj

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