The Brighter Writer

MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012

We Didn't Start The Fire
(High Park Fire Update)

Remember this past weekend when I took this picture from our trip to the local fire house?

Well here we are 2 days later. I took this picture from the corner of Drake Rd and Taft Hill Road right up the street from our house here in Fort Collins.

This is what our sunset looked like from the apartment. I snapped this picture about 7pm last night.

This wildfire is the 2nd biggest fire in Colorado history. I've personally never seen anything like it in my life. The smoke plumes are as far as 30,000 feet in the air and can be seen all the way in North Dakota. It has taken 37,000 acres so far and according to the sheriff's press conference, it's currently 0% contained. Flame heights have been reported at crowning up to 300 ft and are moving at 1-2 miles per hour. This extreme aggressive growth in engulfment has led to multiple evacuations, but hasn't included our side of town. We are, however, experiencing floating ash and a very thick layer of smoke that is sort of hovering above this gorgeous town of mine. Our entire county is on high alert for air quality and some homes last night were evacuated to the Cache Le Poudre Middle School (which was evacuated shortly after due to smoke).

So far, there are 400 ground firefighters, and a small army of air resources trying to calm this guy down. Another fire in New Mexico is stretching our go-to water resources pretty thin. Although we can see a constant stream of helicopters going back and forth, the 2 UH-60 Black Hawk copters ordered in by the Colorado National Guard haven't arrived yet.

CNN is reporting this was started by lightening Saturday morning at 6am and with an additional lighting storm on its way to the same area this afternoon, things aren't looking up. Because of the extreme dry winter this past year, everything up here is adding more fuel. There is no rain in the forecast any time soon and our high temperatures that have been reaching close to 100 degrees aren't helping. The Front Range driving winds aren't favorable either.

We appreciate all of your concerns and thoughts and I promise we're all ok! We're getting the hell out of Dodge for the day and heading to the town of Loveland for some sight seeing and clean air breathing!

I even made a playlist to listen to while we drive! (Of course I did)

The Talking Heads - Burning Down the House
Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire
The Cure - Burn
Midnight Oil - Beds are Burning
Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire
The Clash - London's Burning
James Taylor - Fire and Rain
The Ohio Players - Fire
David Bowie - Slow Burn
Madonna - Burning Up
Harry Nilsson - Jump into the Fire
Ben Harper - Burn One Down
Bruce Springsteen - I'm on Fire
Elvis - Burning Love
Nine Inch Nails - Burn
John Parr - St. Elmo's Fire
Sinead O'Connor - Fire on Babylon
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Catch Fire
Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire
Bauhaus - Burning From the Inside

(When life hands you lemons, make a playlist!!)

An update on the fire: According to this morning's sheriff press conference, 100 firefighters have been added to the original 400 and they're hoping to have 800 on the ground by tonight. The fire is now an estimated 5% contained and they're hoping to get it to 10% by tonight. Mulitple helicopters have been added as well including more National Guard Black Hawks. It has grown to 43,500 acres as reported since 9:30 this morning and winds are continuing to be an issue. All of us in Larimer are still in air quality high alert.