Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where There is Smoke...

Yesterday I received a call from my friend, Michelle, a few minutes after 3:00 PM. There was a fire near our old neighborhood. Could I bring the horse trailer to evacuate her horses?

Michelle is a young mom with two adorable girls. Her husband is out of town on business. She was in panic mode. Michelle.... take three deep breaths! Everything will be OK!

But... What? No! Surely, Michelle must be mistaken.

I called a few friends. We checked online. Michelle was correct. There was a fire. The wind was pushing it towards Michelle's home... in our former neighborhood.

Fire viewed from about 25 miles away
We moved things around in the yard. We found the hitch for the horse trailer. We were on our way, Mr. Dreamy baring the brunt of this since I have some limitations from my recent surgery.

On our way.... about 5 miles north of the fire
As we arrived in the neighborhood, the wind, which drove us insane when we lived there, was howling. We had a quick visit with our neighbors and watched the smoke. The fire was being driven by the wind. But... the wind direction had changed,  just a bit, and the fire was moving to the east, the neighborhood would probably be spared.

The smoke towers over our former barn.
We moved on to Michelle's house, located just a stone's throw north of the evacuation line, about 2-3 miles from the fire at that time. We loaded Andy and Star, some hay and some feed, and turned north towards our home, and safety.

Looking "over our shoulder" at the smoke on our way home.
We brought the horses to our home and tuned to the news. Oh. My. God. We are so thankful we are not in the way of the fire. I can't even begin to imagine the horrors. (Thinking of you, Feral Woman....) The panic of grabbing belongings. Throwing things in the car. Taking last-minute photos. Smelling smoke in the air. Hearing the crackling of the fire...
Andy and Star peacefully munching in our paddock.

The fire began some time after 1:00 PM. Michelle called us at 3:07 PM. Houses had already been engulfed by flames. 

The fire rages on, as I write. It has been burning for 18 hours. There is no containment. The fire keeps jumping roads on its race to the east, and now, turning a bit to the south. 

Today they expect continued wind and extreme fire danger after 2:00. Firemen from all over the State, as well as from the military have been bolstering the ranks through the night.  It is estimated that 8,000 acres, and 40-80 structures have burned. How terrifying to think that just 24 hours ago, 6,426 people who lived in the 55 square mile area that has been evacuated around Black Forest, CO, started their days not even being able to imagine the horror that was to come.

We take so much for granted.

"Live" updates can be found by clicking here. 

UPDATE: as of 1:25 PM, 6/12/2013, our former neighborhood was included in mandatory evacuations. 


  1. Scary! Glad you got the horses out! I hope everyone stays safe.

  2. Oh crap! Prayers go out to those people.

  3. Oh no...that's horrible! So many tragedies...when will it all stop?! I'm glad you and your friend (and her horses) are safe!

  4. Wow, glad you guys are all ok and that you are such a sweet friend able to help:) Be safe!

  5. This is scary, glad that you guys are okay! It's so nice how you helped your friends! Keep safe and I'll keep you all in my thoughts!

  6. Scary for sure, I hope your friend s house is okay. Good of you to get the horses:)

  7. You are so right, sometimes we just never know what is in store for us. Thank goodness you arrived to help with the horses, even just the smoke can be so harmful to them. Lucky thing you moved away so you could lend a hand, with this. I pray that they will be okay, and the fires put out. Thank goodness for our brave and hard working fire fighters too!

  8. So scary!!! So very glad you no longer live there, which of course made it possible to be of help to your friends horses. Sending prayers for everyone involved.

  9. So scary! I've been thinking of all my southern Colorado blog friends, hoping you're staying safe. I'm glad you were able to get the horses out safely and that (currently) your old neighborhood is safe.

  10. I am so happy that you were home, not in Europe somewhere, and able to rescue those two beautiful horses and give them a good place to be until the fire is put out. I hope your friends are OK and that their house was saved.

    Before June 15 every year, I pack everything in bags that we would need to bring with us in case of fire. That excludes things, even art that I love and my books. Just important papers, diabetes supplies, etc. The reason I do this is that I would just hate to have to rush around in a last minute panic deciding what to grab. That must be so horrible!

  11. Oh how I wish we could have sent you half the rain we got here last week!!! I'm so glad you were able to help out your friends and get those horses transported early, before things got dicey. I hope that they and your former neighbors will be able to return to their intact homes. And I can't even imagine the work that the fire fighters are facing.

  12. Horrible! Just horrible! I'm so glad you were home and not traveling somewhere.

    The fire season is here and so very early :(


  13. Was that fire near Moondance? Terry showed photos too.
    So glad you were there to help. Hope all animals were rescued from the area.

  14. This fire is really bad. I hope your friend's home is spared.

  15. it does start out as a normal day - and then when it happens, its almost like you are living someone elses nightmare at that moment....but then the in ash and dead animals, dying animals everywhere was a nightmare for the past year, we are still fixing fences, cutting down burnt trees (we lost 95% on 153 acres) and still fixing the buckled roof, the doors (we replaced every. single. window, even the ones that didnt break because they were etched with burned cinder... and just washing everything, all the time... i dont even want to talk about it anymore because its just too much...the afterwards is the hardest part...

    but now, We have so much rain here (its raining now!), its turning soo green, all this moisture is an oddity for us - I wish i could just wish it over there for you!!!

  16. Hey, heres a site that we use often - one that I wish i didnt have to pass on to you, but you may find very helpful as its a governmental website and updates regularly -

    it uses active maps which we really appreciate...

  17. Darn, I hate that smoke sometimes really DOES mean fire.

    I hope you are all well and safe.


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