When I got up this morning I felt like I had been sleeping in a tent next to a bonfire all night. The smoke was so thick that you couldn't see the mountains. Needless to say I drove to work again.
Firefighters had worked through the night and the the planes had dumped until it was to dark to safely fly. You'd think there was an airport in the area from the fire planes, spotter planes, water dumping and news helicopters. Between these drops and backfires the danger to town was stopped, yeah! By this afternoon there were only smoldering spots on the side of the hill and the big fire was no longer threatening the north side of town. Although people in the area are still under an evacuation warning.
Look ma! I'm on the news! Or at least under it.
But the news wasn't all good. The fire had burned down seven homes, a recreational cabin and numerous structures like barns and storage sheds. There are many people who went into temporary shelter and now have nothing. The red cross and the banks have already announced plans to help the victims. Also the fire crossed a mountain and burned into the canyon that is the watershed for town. This means the next rainstorm will result in the water becoming somewhat muddy and will have to be double filtered in the future and probably for the next couple of years. The good news is nobody died.
Burning up the side of the mountain on Day 2. To get a sense of scale the white spot in the bottom left is the roof of a house.
Meanwhile the original fire has burned North into Colorado. The interstate is still shut down to traffic which means local businesses are suffering from the drop in visitors. The fire has burned into an area known as the Crazy Frenchman's, there's a story behind that name but it's a post in itself.
The dump plane making it's drop. The spotter can be seen in the upper left. Photos from Day 2
The bad part is the highway canyon comes out in Trinidad Colorado so they are going to have to make sure it doesn't drop down into town so the crews are going to have to shift their focus. Also beyond Trinidad is open hay fields and if the fire gets into it the farmers are going to be in real trouble by the end of the year, not to mention everyone who relies on them for winter feed. Either way this fire is still bad news.
Today the Governor came to town for an information meeting with the locals. I did listen to part and the forestry service was doing their best to answer questions. I didn't hear what the governor had to say but I am sure I will hear all about it tomorrow. Hopefully the wind doesn't kick up tonight and the smoke jumpers get a handle on at least the highway burn.
Meanwhile I can't see any flames from my house so I am fine.