01 March 2006

Smoke pouring over the ridge - forest fire

Julia came into my office and reported with a resigned voice: "Papa, there's a fire ... ". Margit & Julia had seen it from town before driving home. I took a look. It didn't look good. Smoke was pouring over the ridge to the South. A call to our neighbors, the Hendricks, confirmed it was over in Sunshine Canyon. Jan said Bristlecone Way, at the top of the ridge, was being evacuated. I wouldn't have been so worried except the wind was gusting 50-60mph in our direction.

Margit & I talked about what to pack .. a couple changes of clothes, official documents, camera, checkbook, computers (at the last second only). I pulled the truck out and loaded up skiis, climbing gear, sleeping bags and the camp setup. We were pretty much ready. Everything else would be toast if it came to that.

We tuned the TV to the Boulder Station. Usually not worth much, it had some solid information this time. The fire was 3.3 miles up Sunshine Canyon and only 5 acres. It had potential to grow fast since the winds were out of control. South and West of Linden had mandatory evacuation notices (a new change from the voluntary evac notice). We were west of Linden. The Boulder station also displayed the Boulder City and County Emergency Hotline: 303.441.4300.

We weren't ready to leave until we saw the fire crest the ridge. We waited and watched the smoke and ... the helicopters who were waiting for a story to unfold.

The wind started to die and the smoke stopped pouring over the ridge. My neighbor, Kirk and I, drove up to Bristlecone Way to take a look. Only a smoky haze was left.

This evening, I pulled up the google mapping tools and estimated the fire was about 2/3rds of a mile away. The image, to the right, shows our house (red call-out) and the fire (black call-out). Close enough for me. I thank Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District and the other fire departments responding to this fire.

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