I thought I would post a quick note about the fire situation here in Colorado, so many folks are wondering where we are in relation to them. Fortunately for us, at this time, we are not directly affected by the fires. The largest fire, High Park fire, is north of us near Fort Collins. This is the worst one at this time, at 2 weeks old, has burned 81,190 acres, over 100 structures, only 45% contained and one life lost. We were afraid we might feel affects from this while we visited Rocky Mountain National Park, but we did not.
Last Sunday the Springer fire near Lake George started, which is 58 miles to the east of us, on the way to Colorado Springs. Eleven Mile State Park was evacuated and closed. This fire is now 87 percent contained, and luckily damaged no structures. However, the marshals are investigating reports that the cause of the fire was some idiots doing target practice...at propane tanks! One exploded and started the fire. It burned an estimated 1,145 acres. Brilliant.
Right now the closest worst fire broke out near Colorado Springs, 90 miles to the east of us. This one is really bad, started north of the Garden of the Gods park that we visited and wrote about. It started yesterday, and in 24 hours has spread to 2500 acres, the entire town of Manitou Springs has been evacuated, over 3000 people, and the city recorded a record high temperature of 100 degrees today. The fire is 0 percent contained.
A fire broke out yesterday as well in Leadville, 32 miles to our north. We have actually driven through Leadville a few times, and Turquoise Lake, my header photo, is located there. Fortunately the fire is in Birdseye Gulch, an isolated area, is is *only* at 100 acres burned.
One of the scariest to me is the fire that broke out in Estes Park Saturday afternoon. I heard about it, and when I looked it up, it was very close to the cabin where we had stayed last Tuesday night. Right at the Beaver Meadows entrance of Rocky Mountain NP, on High Drive, and it turned out to have started a mere 634 yards down the road from the cabin we were in that night. This was a small but very destructive fire, a total of 25 acres burned but 22 residences have been lost. How sad for these people, and I wonder if the cabin we stayed in managed to survive.
As of tomorrow, our county, Chaffee County, is going to a complete fire ban. No outside fires at all, no charcoal grills, no fireworks, no smoking outside at all. Folks camping are bummed, but realize its a safety issue and we're not receiving too many complaints. Propane grills are still allowed, so BBQ can still go on. We sure could use some rain around here! And back at "home base" they are practically drowning from Tropical Storm Debby...wish they could send some of the rain this way.
So that is the scoop on the fires in this area....so far, we have not had to get ready to roll on out. I pray that doesn't happen here, and that all the affected areas find relief soon.