Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fire Update

Dear Blogging Friends,

At about 4:00 this afternoon, June 26th, 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire fanned by 40 mile an hour winds, suddenly flared to cause the wildfire to grow by leaps and bounds.  I am located forty miles away and am in no danger whatsoever, but I have many friends and family in my hometown of Colorado Springs.

A perfect storm set the scene for what has happened.  Colorado Springs has never reached 101 degrees before until today.  For three straight days, the temperature has been at 100 degrees.  Wind up to 65 miles an hour also hit late this afternoon.  The area is in a drought.

By 4:30 more than 7,000 more people were evacuated from their homes.  This meant that 12,000 people were evacuated in the area.  Since that time, more people have been evacuated from homes near the Air Force Academy.  In fact, the housing area for those personnel who live on the Air Force Academy have had to evacuate.

Structures have now been lost in the area.  Since Sunday, the firefighters have been able to keep all structures from burning.  As one broadcaster said on air, "It has all changed on a dime."  This was because of the wind that brought the fire roaring through Waldo Canyon and Queen's Canyon into the west side of the City of Colorado Springs.  Think of smoke from a fireplace going up a chimney.  This is what happened when the fire, pushed by wind, roared through Queen's Canyon.

The photos and live shots coming out of the area are absolutely heartbreaking.  As heartbreaking as the photos are, the knowledge of the impact that this disaster is having on so many is even more heartbreaking.  All over Colorado Springs, family members are reporting that the air is thick with ash and smoke.  Many say it is difficult to breathe.

As I write this post, the word is that all homes west of I25 from Garden of the Gods to the Air Force Academy is on evacuation orders.  Word is out that Flying "W" Ranch, a place those of us who lived in Colorado Springs always took visitors out of town to experience a true Western experience and meal, has burned.

The wind is shifting, even though it is dying down.  It is now headed south.  We need rain.  We need prayer.  The fire is out of control.  Neighborhoods are burning.  The fire is unprecedented.  There are no words.  The air craft is no longer able to go in the air to fight the fire.

If you wish to watch a live stream of this fire, you may do so at this site:  KOAA

As many of you know, we have been trying to sell our home so that we can move to Colorado Springs.  The home we have hoped to purchase is not too near these areas that are burning.  None of my family lives near the fire.  All are on the other side of town.  Officials have asked all to stop using cell phones. Gas has been turned off to many neighborhoods.  I can't even imagine what those who live in this areas are experiencing.

Truly, the backdrop of my earliest days, the beloved skyline of my life,  is on fire.  I am heartbroken.


24 comments:

Jeanie said...

You are right, Sally, that there are just no words for what we are seeing.
It is hard to imagine the emotions those in the path of the fire are feeling. I pray we are seeing the worst and that things will get better soon. I say that knowing that for some things will never be the same as before these horrible fires.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Sally... I am so sorry.. I can only imagine how you feel. Those fires are so destructive. Mother Nature has no mercy...

Hope you get rain soon. We don't have anything like that here, but we do DESPERATELY need rain. AND our temps are supposed to go up VERY high (almost 100--which is rare for us on the Cumberland Plateau) this coming weekend. Our yard/flowers/garden, etc. are all suffering... BUT--it's nothing like what is going on in CO...

Prayers for you/family/friends--and that beautiful area.
Hugs,
Betsy

Lynilu said...

A friend on FB just posted a picture and I checked the status on Active Fire Mapping:http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/#
It's not good at all.

The full extent of the Rockies is at risk. I noticed earlier today that over 20 fires are burning up and down the length in the US. I'm praying for the monsoons to hurry up and get here. Do you get monsoons that far North? I don't think so, but perhaps the weather patterns that bring them here will help up your way, as well.

Sad year, isn't it? So much loss to wild fires.

Jackie said...

Sally...I am praying for rain for that area. I will continue to pray for those fighting the fires as well as those who have lost much because of the fires. Thank you for keeping us updated.
Love,
Jackie

Linda Reeder said...

I have been hearing about the fires on the news, of course, but I have been so busy that I haven'y paid close attention. Reading your account of the fires makes it more real and personal.
What a huge disaster!

Kay said...

We've been seeing news of the fire nightly and I keep thinking about you. I'm so relieved that you're in a safe area. I guess you just never know. There was a fire very close to us that sent a shiver up our spines. Our hearts are breaking for all those people whose lives are being devastated.

Jean said...

This is terribly sad. Tragic. So sorry to hear of the continuing loss but glad you and your loved ones are safe.

Joyce said...

So tragic...keeping this area, the firefighters, and the families in my prayers.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so glad you and your family are safe but my heart breaks for those in the line of fire. I had a fire come onto my acreage once in Florida and it is terrifying. Fire has an evil sound and you feel so helpless.
All those in the path and those that are bravely fighting this monster are in my prayers.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Oh, Sally, such a tragedy on so many levels! Prayers are coming your way. Glad you and your family are safe.

HUGS!

DJan said...

I have been watching and worrying, for all the good it does. I am praying hard, and when I saw that the Waldo fire has grown to threaten more people and homes, I was devastated. I love Colorado and it is burning down. Thank you for keeping me informed, but I am really having a hard time with all this destruction.

Beth said...

I am praying with all of you that the fires will soon be under control. Stay safe!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Oh, Sally, I am so sorry. Thanks for this update. I am going to link to your post in my post today.

Sending love and prayers for you all.

Kathy M.

Thisisme. said...

Oh Sally, I am so very sorry to read about the tragedy of these fires, and I can imagine how you feel about a place that you love. Thank the Lord that your family and friends are not affected, but I will pray for all those who have been infected. It is just too awful. Let us pray that rain will hit the area soon, so that the fires can be contained. Take care my friend.

"Auntie" sezzzzzz... said...

Oh my Dear, the only good thing is that you and loved ones, are not in the line of danger. My heart goes out to all, who are though.

It is very hard for someone in the NE, to comprehend this disaster. But....... Fully comprehending or not..... We know it is happening.

Gentle hugs...

becca said...

so sad ans scary my prayers go out to everyone in this area

Barb said...

Dear. Sally, Our state is being devastated. Looking at the news coverage adds to my growing concern about Summit County. Though we have no fires as yet, I feel fire is only a lightning strike or a careless human away. The forest is so dry and dark clouds are bringing no relief. The pictures out of Colorado Springs are so frightening - now homes and businesses are burning. I believe Bolder is also in danger. Take care of yourself.

Sightings said...

Thanks for the update. I've been hearing abt. this fire for a LONG time, and I watched the video stream. It's just ... just horrible. I hope you stay out of harm's way; and I hope those who are in harm's way place safety first, and possessions later. My sister is flooding in Florida -- may you get some of their rain.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, Sally, how sad to see all that destruction! While I'm glad that your home and your family members' homes are not in the path of the fire, it must be devastating to see the forests and skylines of your life disappearing into the flames. My thoughts have been with you and I hope you continue to be safe through all this.

Grandmother said...

Prayers? You have them. Rain? May it fall. There are no words. It's unprecedented and our weather is changing before our eyes in the face of massive denial. Goddess help us!

Jackie said...

Checking back in to let you know that I am continuing to pray.
I specifically prayed for a monsoon-type rain to inundate the area. I hope that the fires are abated soon.
Know that I am praying!!
Love and hugs,
Jackie

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

The damage and continuing danger are astonishing and heart-rending. I wish we could send you some of our flood water. Be well.

Dee said...

Dear Sally, I don't have any words or the ability to change any of this but I hope you know that you and all the people in Colorado Springs and throughout the danger zone are in my prayers and thoughts. Peace.

Jeanie said...

No words, Sally. I can't begin to imagine.

There was a beautiful remembrance of the Flying W on NPR a couple of days ago. It made me wish I'd known it.