With our deliciously cold/wet spring, I was hoping we might escape wildfires this summer – Alas, it is not to be and currently, from 35 or so miles away, we are smelling the smoke and viewing the plume as it disperses our way.
We awoke to a quiet morning and clear skies to the west. Around 9ish, electric went out and we learned that our Electric Association was in the process of evacuating different sub-stations. Though I have no confirmation, me thinks perhaps the power down was related to a re-routing of power from those stations affected.
As I worked through checking on elderly neighbors to make sure they had food/water for the next few hours, word circulated that the fire had spread east of Peyton – and the wind kicked up…
Now I started in earnest – water, food, clothing, first aid – packed in bags. Pre-plans for my doggie and the pets of those I’m house-sitting for. Checked in with vacationing neighbors to determine what, if anything, could or needed to be done at their place should the electric outage be long lasting.
Fortunately, the power came back on in an hour or so – everyone is safe and sound here and I fired up the computer to learn what is happening to the west.
It’s not good.
I took a break from the Twitter feed and stepped outside to investigate the smoke smell that was starting to waft into the house. The wind has died and there is a warm, oppressive silence – I gave thanks for the calm wind – snapped a pic of what I first thought might be cloud cover, only to realize it was smoke from the fire…
Sigh….It’s not even July yet…
I’ve evacuated from fires before – more out of concern for the heart rates of grandmothers than because we were imminent danger. Both the Hayman and Smokey/Campbell fires were close enough to us in our mountain home to result in the frequent calls every hour or so from both grandmama’s, begging me and the boys to just come visit them. Since hubby, a trooper, was always busy working to aide fire-fighting/evacuation efforts, it never seemed like a big deal to pack the important stuff and go visit for a few days – if only to set other hearts at ease.
Last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire had me on the receiving evacuee’s end – keeping up with friends and family and preparing our house for company should the call come for them to evacuate.
I must say I AM grateful for Twitter – when I logged in this morning, I immediately had what I needed to know, as I had followed the sheriff’s office, fire marshall, etc., last year. Upon logging in, I instantly had the access to the latest information, fire maps and what is needed for the effort.
I know I have made fun of Facebook in the past – but social media does provide such a great tool for dealing with catastrophe – firefighters need Gatorade – here’s the donation drop-off point. Need a place for large livestock? – here’s where you can take them. Oops! Gonna run outta hay soon – nope, someone is on their way with a load…
And always, the heartwarming ones – those who are praying and asking where to send donations – those who have lost everything, but still grateful to those who tried to save it all – “2 friends and family – we are safe and on stand-by – please try not to worry” or “We made it out and are at the shelter.” or “I found your doggie – she’s safe with me until you get back in the area.”
I confess to nearly crying while writing this – – THIS is why doomsday predictions do not worry me. Why I prepare for the unexpected but don’t lie awake nights worrying about it…
I’m thinking of lines from Desiderata –
“Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.”
“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”
With prayers for continued low winds and some rain…
UPDATE 06/11 @1320 hours – Seems the wind is carrying ash and several other fires have sparked up in the vicinity of the Front Range Plains – as well as a new grass fire located in the mountains about 4 miles from my previous home – Asking for rain dances from my WordPress Community – Surely the gods cannot help but send rain with all us awesome folks dancing! 🙂