The Colorado Fires, A Farmer's Personal Story

| 6/28/2012 3:40:38 PM

On Saturday 23 June, I saw the smoke plume before I had even heard about the fire. It was a massive towering chimney of smoke. It was coming from behind the ridge of the mountain south of us near Colorado Springs. 

Colorado fires 2012We turned on the radio, and I heard that it was thought someone had inadvertently started the fire through shooting practice in the woods. It has been hot and dry here, record heat at and above 100 degrees for 6 days. Our humidity wouldn’t appear to even fill a thimble when looking at the relative humidity meter. Hot and dry!

The City of Colorado Springs had been removing fuel for the possible fire hazards for quite a while now. They were well prepared, otherwise it could be a lot worse. The first few days, there was no loss of structures and the firefighters protected the homes and kept the fire from jumping highway 24. It is a good size fire barrier, and to keep it from spreading was a great feat for them. 

That highway was closed to protect the firefighters and allow them to stay safe and focused on the job at hand. A fire line they did not have to dig up! Just keep the fire from jumping it.

The winds were constantly changing, and would just howl around our house, and the fire started moving north toward the Air Force Academy. It was finally evacuated, except for critical personnel. Hwy 25 was shut down for a while to allow for the traffic to move freely. The next night, the fire moved quickly in the middle of the night, three miles in ½ hour. The smoke plumes had grown significantly, and there were a lot more pre-evacuation notices that were issued.

The smoke got so thick at my house, I thought it had caught on fire from some of the embers. But it hadn’t. I just needed to chew the air a bit before I inhaled. We left for about two hours, went south to get out of the smoke, then returned home when the winds changed again from southwest to from the north. 

7/1/2012 1:33:54 AM

Chris, these are scary times, aren't they? Too bad the rain in Florida couldn't moved to the west just a tad to help with the fires. The weather just seems to keep getting more and more extreme. Everything looks good here in Nebraska but we are heading into our second week of upper 90s with no rain in sight. Well, I don't call .13 inch of moisture rain. That's just a nuisance rain the causes more humidity. I am glad to hear that your house has escaped the fire. Smoke is bad enough. I hope and pray that those fires will be out soon. Have the best day that you can under the circumstances.

Mary Carton
6/30/2012 4:29:41 AM

We've had 100 degree weather and only 0.58 inches of rain in NW Alabama. I worry about some ya-hoo shooting off fireworks on the 4th and starting something. No rain and temps in the 100 predicted for the next week. Corn and soybeans are gone except if irrigated. Cotton is still looking good.

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