Sorry for the gap in my time between my posts. Between work, the house reconstruction and my personal life - things have been more busy in my life than they have for a very long time. As a result time spent on my writing has been quite limited in the last week - and for that I apologize to my dedicated readers.
This morning when Zack and I headed out to do errands that we needed to do, the thermometer in the car read 93 degrees at 10:30AM. Ninety-three degrees at 10:30AM - that is just crazy!!! But it seems to be the tone of things in Colorado these days. We move from one heat wave to the next with no rain and no humidity in the air.
In the last 2 weeks several giant wildfires have consumed massive amounts of Colorado's woodlands. This morning however things are even worse as the small town of Manitou Springs outside of Colorado Springs stands threaten with annihilation by a massive wall of flames. This is personally very disturbing to me as Manitou Springs is such a lovely, quaint little town. It is also the starting point for the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. If the fire enters the town, there will be literally nothing to be done as the old homes and stores that make up this town are packed tightly together and once one burns you and pretty much kiss the town goodbye.
Here's a picture I found on Facebook of the fire shortly after it started.
The High Park fire near Fort Collins has now been burning for going on 2 weeks. On Friday the fire, which had seemed to be settling down made a major run to the north and west, bringing a community of many hundreds of homes into danger. The battle to save those homes continues even to the this hour. With the high temperatures and gusting winds, it does seem the firefighters will have their work cut out for them if these homes are to be saved.
Fire has always been part of the ecosystem of Colorado. However what has changed is that now many people are building their homes in areas that are prone to these kinds of wildfires. My sincerest hope is that people will learn lessons from these fires. Hopefully in the aftermath of these fires counties and communities will put restrictions upon where people can build homes and will change building and landscaping codes to enable people time to have the best chance of survival. It doesn't matter how much defensible space you build around your home - if you live in these areas eventually it is all going to burn. Let me be clear - I am not blaming anyone for building in these areas, as people where not aware of the fire dangers when many of these homes were built. My thoughts are with everyone who has lost homes, I just hope these calamities can be prevented in the future.
Let me put this in personal terms. My condo in the hills above the small town of Silverthorne is built in one of these areas that will eventually burn. I know that and realize that. When a forest fire does start there, I am prepared to lose it all. There is nothing of deep personal value that I keep there. I expect it to eventually burn and that is the way it is going to be.
The fires are even worse this year due to the number of beetle killed trees in the forests. I think eventually all the forests filled with beetle killed trees are going to experience this kind of fires. To make matters worse the extreme high temperatures and lack of rain have made the forests tinder dry. The merest spark can set off a raging wildfire.
Just wanted to provide this short post as this is something that is on my mind. If I have time tonight I will write more as I wish to write a bit more about Iceland. Zack and I leave on this great adventure tomorrow afternoon! We are so looking forward all that we are going to see and experience.
To everyone dealing with the wildfires my thoughts are with you. To the men and women who are fighting these monsters may you all be safe. How they can do what they do in these kinds of conditions - I really don't understand. They are amazing!
Thanks and peace to all! ~J.