Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rage on flames, a city on edge

The wind is going to double or triple the acreage of the fire by tomorrow morning. I'm watching it from about 7 miles away and the flames visible in direct sunlight, easily 100 feet high and then some. It's trying to work it's way down the hillsides and jump the highway but the lines are holding. If it jumps the highway it's right into town and onto all the old buildings with wood shingle roofs and too much fuel for the fire. I would be surprised if they can control it, if it does jump. They are standing on the roadside with axes, that's how serious it is right now.

It's on a hillside in a canyon, the winds are swirling making it hard to predict. The main reservoir for Colorado Springs had the power lines down this morning from the flames and it's on backup generator power. They have fuel on hand for 2 weeks and the fire can't actually damage the infrastructure so good news. Bad news is if everything around it burns the erosion will be horrible for years to come and constantly clog up the system from mud sliding into the water.
The water can reach the city via gravity but not the kind of pressure or amount that is needed.

I'm watching the fire speed down a hillside into my friends neighborhood, hopefully the line holds as the firefighters have been busy bulldozing and cutting. The are hopeful they wont have to rebuild and are upset since they were about to list the house. I put it into focus for them that they are out and safe, that's all the matters. We agreed.

The city up the pass that is holding everyone who got stuck when the highway closed is out of food and fuel. Trucks are reaching it from alternate routes, but not the frequency needed. The interstate is 20 minutes from this town, otherwise it's a 3 hour back route. Most of the fuel available is being diverted to air tankers and fire assets and the truck that are going up the pass are not enough to catch up.

It's not just that something is on fire, it's about what happens all around it to all the services people rely on daily and never think would suddenly vanish. I'm not an optimist like that.

My home phone has gotten 7 calls today from political parties or activist groups. I'm monitoring my home phone activity from work in case we are put on pre-evac notice. There is a local election today and both parties stopped campaign work due to the fire. To me that's stand up and I wish I could vote for both of them.


  1. Wish we could send CAL FIRE to help but our dear governor won't let the department leave the state. Make sure your roof is cleaned with no debris on it. If you have to leave, close your curtains, move furniture away from the windows, and PRAY HARD.

    1. Packed up in the rigs. As you know in Cali, when the winds change it's a dice roll and I don't gamble.