Fires…

 

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This map is the fire in the south central part of the state with the little house over it (evacuation center)

 

We’ve had wind up to 60 mph today here in Heaven and the San Luis Valley (all of Colorado) is very, very, very dry. Innocent thing spark brush fires, like a guy showing up for his job as a welder.

I’ve gotten to see second hand (I’d like to keep it that way) how a large brush fire is dealt with here in Heaven. The area covered in the map is thousands of acres. I’m (again) astonished at not being in a big California city any more.

Everyone in the area was evacuated to the recreation center in Alamosa. You look at that HUGE area on the map and you think, “Wow, that’s a huge area on the map!” but it’s not a lot of people. One of my friends lives near the airport in Alamosa — my artist friend with whom I sometimes go to Taos. She was evacuated and happy as a clam because they opened the ceramic studio at the rec center for her to work. She later let me know that Dominos brought pizza for everyone.

I don’t yet know the extent of the damage or how many people lost homes, businesses, stock, anything. But I do know that when that’s made public a few GoFundMe’s will pop up, families will ask for help on the various Facebook pages, and people will just pitch in.

In my fire experience in California (a lot more extensive and intensive than I wish) there was the setting up of Red Cross shelters sometimes in places as big as the stadium where (once upon a time) the Chargers played. With millions of people to contend with, there’s. no GoFundMe or direct pleas for “We need bedding and clothes for a 2nd grader” kind of thing or “Our home was burned” getting a response like, “We have a big 5th wheel we can let you have.”

That is rural life in a sparsely populated area, I guess. I’m grateful for it. I think we’re in for a long and scary fire season unless the July/August rains come and give us a break. There’s also the (slim?) possibility that we could still get a good, wet snow.

UPDATE:

All is well. The fire (in my area) is under control. Everyone’s home.

 

1P.S. It’s roughly 70 miles from Creede to Alamosa ❤

P.P.S. SLV = San Luis Valley, a little bit of America most people have never even heard of.

 

20 thoughts on “Fires…

  1. Oh, my gosh! I’m glad people are going home. It’s been very windy over the past weekend and still is in some parts of SoCal — we’ve had no fires, but it’s going to be a rough summer. What a day it’s been across the country!

    • I think this is exactly what was forseen. Dramatic weather; more fires, more hurricanes, all of it, even in the 70s when people were talking about a hole in the ozone layer it all predicated just exactly this — when I was a kid, there were forest fires but there was no “fire season” or “fire weather” or anything like that. I am just sickened by the whole thing. 😦 And sad.

  2. That’s terrible, Martha. And Spring has barely arrived for you. Sounds like everyone will need a bushfire plan. We are supposed to have one, but we all get a bit complacent. I hope the wind dies down soon.

    The wind has been fierce here, too. And just a few hours north of us, raging bushfires. It used to be unusual this year, but not anymore. We also used to get the sky cranes (fire fighting choppers) from the US during your off-season, but now that is not going to be possible. It lights a bushfire in me just thinking about it. And still, there are many in our parliament who do not support Australia doing its bit to curb emissions, and quite happy to ship our coal offshore to further contribute to the problem.

    • I can’t even think of my government’s attitude toward this without roaring obscenities. There are a lot of Americans who don’t even CARE what petroleum products have done to the atmosphere. And then there are the A-holes who drive through the valley and toss cigarettes out of their car windows.

      I got out my generator today for the first time since I moved here only to learn that if it’s not kept charge it can no longer BE charged so I need to get a new internal battery for it.

      I’ve been through a fire (2003, California) and it was unreal, terrifying, surreal, I don’t even have adjectives.

      • A generator is handy, especially if you want to pump water. Good to find out before you absolutely need it. We’ve also got fans that run on batteries for when we have power blackouts due to peak demand in summer.

      • I think my first line of defense is escape. I learned from the last time to keep the gas tank filled, dog dishes and water in the car and be ready to head out. 🙂

      • Make sure your emergency kit is complete — food and water for 3 days, gas in the car, food & water for the dogs, and maps in case your normal routes are blocked. In the city, they don’t talk about generators except for those who have issues that require electrical support — not a bad idea to have one available, particularly in a rural area! It’s suddenly summer here — sounds like it is there as well! Take care!

  3. It is amazing how extreme the weather is all over the country. We are still having temps in the 20’s and enough rain to cause flooding. It feels like winter will never end. VERY scary to hear about the other extreme. I guess since you have lived with it so long, you have a good plan in place. Be safe. I think rural communities do know how to take care of their own – I see it happen here again and again. Perhaps they know no one else will do it.

    • There’s going to be serious flooding when the snow pack in the Missouri River basin starts to melt. It’s going to be a very scary year, I’m afraid and I’m afraid! :O

  4. Glad to hear your area is under control now. I can’t grasp how terrifying it is to live with a “fire season”. Our UK weather has starting to get relatively more extreme over the past decade, but still, its hard for me to even imagine a forest fire situation or anything similarly extreme. All the best.

  5. Glad the fire got under control. Yes, the increase in fires is scary since our youth. I’m used to the wind, growing up in south boulder where 100 mph happened a few times a year. The power lines would blow down and start a fire on the hillside across the street from our house, but it never spread anywhere. I was always mad at my Mom for not waking me up when such things happened. It howled here yesterday, max gust in town was 89 mph. We didn’t lose power, but we lost internet for the afternoon/evening. It was back this morning. Enjoy the calm air today!

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