After a fun and exciting week in Boulder, we made our way to Colorado Springs to visit my oldest and dearest friend, Lori and her husband, Bruce. Lori and Bruce have been living here for 23 years, and recently moved to the Black Forest area just two months ago. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then I’m sure you have heard about the devastating Black Forest fires that have been burning since June 11, 2013.
While Boulder was fun, it was shadowed by my thoughts of Lori and Bruce as they had been evacuated last Tuesday. All week, we kept our ear on the news and followed the changing direction of the fire, praying that their home would remain safe. Lori kept us updated via text and calls and while she tried to keep her spirits up, I could sense her anxiety and fear.
Luckily, their home was spared, and they were able to move back into their home Wednesday night, the day before our arrival. Driving into the area via the 83S, the scene was your typical Colorado ‘green’, nothing noticeable at first. But as soon as we made the turn onto her street, we were greeted with a more sobering scene. The fire had destroyed three homes on their street and left hundreds of acres scorched. Later, we walked through the neighborhood and snapped some photos.
As we were returning from our walk, we came upon a Rocky Mountain Fire truck with three fire fighters. They were kind enough to stop by the house to ensure everything was ok and that all hot areas were out. Bruce and Lori could not show their appreciation enough, nor could we. Aside from the hugs and handshakes, we gave them a stash of Action Wipes to clean the soot off their faces, neck and hands. They expressed their appreciation and asked if they could take some back to the rest of the crew. And if you know me, you can bet I gave them enough for the crew *and* the entire station!
Today, the fire has been 100% contained – but only after 509 homes and 14,000 acres have burned and 2 deaths caused. We were intending to do some hiking and mountain bike riding while here, but the smoke is still lingering, so we will take it easy.
Thank you again to all the fire fighters of the Black Forest fire!