I do apologize for the few loyal readers who find their way to this, lately, lonely space.
It was a whirlwind of a summer and we’ve just been trying to get back to normal.
First, we are safe and sound in our cherished home. I wrote (back in July) of “a fire.” That fire, the Beaver Creek Fire, crept closer and closer, finally rearing its head at our doorstep. Perhaps I shouldn’t take such literary license there. It was not at our doorstep, but it was certainly close. As in within 50 yards in some places.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We were visited by a person from the fire on Thursday morning, July 28. Then a fire engine with crew members later that day. A Chinook helicopter flew over the house all afternoon, taking water from the Platte River to Parsons Draw. We happened to be in the flight path. Right in the flight path.
Friday morning a second engine and crew arrived. The firefighters laid hose and sprinklers and began soaking the house.
Saturday morning, July 30, we were told at 7:30 am we needed to be out by that night so they could wrap the house! Tears. Panic. Then calm and determination to get started on an evacuation.
I was going to write a long post detailing the events as they unfolded. And I’d still like to do that. (Complete with pictures.) So I’ll stop now with the play-by-play account.
We left. The fire came. The firefighters successfully defended our home and its surrounding area. Lots of firefighters. Lots of good decisions. Lots of care for our home.
We were allowed back in mid-August. We were very, very worried about what we would find. To our delight and unbelievable surprise, we came back to so much green! To be sure, the drive in is not pretty. And the evidence of this massive fire is all around us. Independence Mountain is not the same and certainly will not be for a very long time. But once you descend the last little hill into our slice of paradise, one is hard pressed to determine there was a fire. The only evidence is the cleared slope outside my bedroom window. There are trees left (it certainly does not look like the Lorax’s home) but it has obviously been picked clean.
So, to recap, we are good. Our peaceful abode is good. We still watch the sky for smoke plumes. One was going yesterday so we walked up the hill on our north for a better vantage point. The plume is closer than I would like, about 250 to 300 yards to the west of us. We met an engine and crew that was out patrolling. They assured me they “have eyes on it” and that at the moment, it’s not close to the line, it’s burning in the black, and we should be fine.
I tried not to roll my eyes. (I will admit, I have done that once or twice since the beginning of this fire. More details on that later.)
I know it was a Red Flag Day yesterday. I know it’s “burning in the black.” I know this is expected behavior from this fire. I know it will continue to behave this way until we get a season ending event (better known as S-N-O-W).
It’s near my home. My home is no longer protected by a multitude of “scruffy angels” watching over it in their green and yellow uniforms. There are no hoses, no sprinklers, no Chinooks flying overhead, no portable tanks of water set up. So.
Until we get that season-ending event, until I know for a fact there will be no smoking or smoldering or burning or torching, until there is no possibility of flying embers, I will worry. And I will continue to chase down engines/crews I see driving around. I will continue to call Incident Command and proceed to tell the PIOs answering the phone that I don’t need the song-and-dance routine about the high fire day, the wind, the burning in the black, etc, etc, etc…and will they please connect me with someone in Operations, now.
For the moment, we are good. Our peaceful home is good. And we are more grateful than there are words available to express that gratitude.
Blessings be on you and yours on this gorgeous September day.