Thursday, June 13, 2013

My "city community" is in flames again

A little over a year ago, tornadoes ripped through my actual community.  We evacuated, and we did end up with some relatively minor damage.  But some of our neighbors (meaning within a few miles) experienced a lot worse.

Nearly a year ago, my "city community" started on a pretty horrific journey.  I posted R is for Reality. A place I don't want to be today.  That was the morning after dry thunderstorms caused wacky wind/weather patterns that sent the Waldo Canyon Fire roaring into western Colorado Springs.

Last June (and into July) was pretty horrible. 

The view of the smoke plume from our yard, Tuesday
This June is harder for me.  On Tuesday, a fire started in Black Forest (the northern "suburb" of Colorado Springs) and it is absolutely devastating.  And this time, it is really personal.  Last year, I could name a half dozen families I knew who were evacuated at some point over the course of the fire, but only one whose home was truly in the middle of things. (And their house did not burn down.)

This year, oh, wow.  This year it is worse.  As I am sort of listening to the news and typing this post, the reporter makes a statement about having just spoken to a family who has lost everything... and I jump a bit as I realize they are talking about a family I know, and not a family I had remembered when I've been mentally listing off everyone I know who has been evacuated.

The Scout camp my boys are supposed to be heading to in ten days?  Evacuated yesterday.  The Court of Honor we are supposed to have on Monday?  Postponed indefinitely, as the church where we meet has been evacuated.  Half a dozen families from our AHG troop are in, or right next to, the evacuation area.  Along with more like a dozen families from our Boy Scout troop.  And I can name off another dozen families I know as well. 

On Facebook this morning, I saw that friends of ours posted about their parents' house being gone.

Fire danger remains incredibly high.  We aren't personally at risk from the Black Forest fire, but there is always the risk of yet another fire starting.  Lots have, in fact, but most are being put out fairly quickly.  Of the dozen(s?) of fires that have started in Southern Colorado in the past few days, it is "just" three that are causing huge problems.  One at Royal Gorge, which is at least starting to be contained.  One in Huerfano county that is now mostly contained.  And the Black Forest one, ravaging multitudes of residential areas, which is still 0% contained.

It was reported yesterday (before the mandatory, voluntary, and pre-evacuation areas expanded yet again) that the evacuation area is larger than the actual City of Denver.  Just for a touch of perspective.

I know God is in control.  There are amazing folks involved in fighting this, and eventually the fire will go out.  And people will start to rebuild their lives.  The stuff impacting us directly is relatively minor.  But wow, just wow.

I ended my post last year with this:
A friend summed it up well on Facebook.

You know that happy, cozy, safe feeling you get when your family is home and you are going to bed? Don't take that for granted.
Pray please.  This fire is far from over.  And thunderstorms in the wrong places could bring even more devastation today.

Seems like a fitting end this year too, especially as the 'dry thunderstorms' are a distinct possibility today and tomorrow.  Lord, have mercy.

Oh -- and if anyone needs a place to stay, we have an empty house in La Junta available for a couple of weeks...


Kayla Rice said...

Stay safe, Those fires are awful. So Sorry.

Noteable Scraps said...

Praying. This is a very difficult time.

Unknown said...

We know some who have lost homes, too. I am so sad for them. :(
Praying for all.