High Park Fire… hitting home.

Two days ago we noticed a small fire west of us in the mountains. We had heard that they were conducting a controlled fire so we really didn’t think much of it…until a few hours later. Within a few hours there had begun a full blown fire. I am not sure if it has to do with the controlled fire, but what I do know is that what was a small fire yesterday, has now grown exponentially. The fire is north west of us in the mountains about 20 minutes away.
This sight would be beautiful if it was a sunset… but it is not. It is the sun reflecting off of the thick smoke that is lingering through out our city.

Here is a map of the fire (as of 8pm Sunday) you can see about where we live in the bottom right corner. Between us and the fire is Horsetooth Reservoir and a range of mountains, so it doesn’t seem that we could be in the line of fire.

Smoke view from our second story, facing north.
 
James and I took a drive up to the reservoir to see just how close the fire was, and that is when it hit me… just how real this all was. Below is a pic I took at the top of Rotary at the reservoir to the west.

This is just opposite of the previous picture facing east over Hughes Stadium.

 And here is a pan view I tried to assemble of a 360 view from the top of the reservoir, sorry for the seams, but my eyes are still burning from taking pictures in the smoke so I can’t really see the details. Click to make the image larger.

Homes are already being destroyed, families are being evacuated and there is no sight to the fire being contained any time soon. Our community just experienced a fire north of this fire in Hewlett Gulch, our families favorite hiking trail. So we could really use a break from fires 🙂

Although our home is not in immediate danger, the fire is just on the other side of the mountain from us. The air is thick with smoke and it seems to be getting much worse. Please pray for the families that are being effected by this fire. Please pray for the smoke to clear and for rain to help contain this fire. If you are looking for a way to help out those who have been effected by the fire, our church is working with a local organization to assist those in need, you can find the info here. In church today they mentioned that they need blankets, bedding and toiletries.

It is something so simple and natural, yet it can completely devastate a community. This fire has grown over anything that authorities could have expected. It continues to grow with no end in sight… yet in a time like this, there is an opportunity to bring people together for the common goal of love for one another. A respect for each other and overflow of compassion. I pray that good comes from this. I can already see our community rise to the challenge to show love and kindness to those in need.

UPDATE (6/11/12 9:24 am): Here is the most recent stats and info on the fires progress,devastation and evacuation calls.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers…

~Liz

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