Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fire Updates

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.


  1. North of Pagosa Springs, the Little Sand Fire is still burning, 5 weeks after being started by a lightning strike. still only 30% contained, approaching 18,000 acres burned, and still growing to the NE.

    1. Oh yes, thanks Jim. I was thinking of the fires closest to us, and forgot the Little Sand Fire. That started just after we were in the Durango area. I love Colorado, but not the fires!

  2. Karen, great update on the fires - although scary and sad. I just heard on the news that the residents of Manitou Springs have been told that they can return home, which is great news. Also, I checked with one of our rangers today, and he said that the cabins where you and Al stayed are okay. Take care!

    1. That is good to hear, Judy, both the cabins and Manitou Springs. We have been receiving cancellations today due to the fires...folks not wanting to leave town while their homes may be in the line of fire..can't really blame them.

  3. Thanks for the update Karen. Although we left the area to avoid the fires, we still check the news daily to see what's changed. Then, Dick & Judy posted about the Estes Park fire yesterday and there was more concern. I hope rain comes soon to all the areas affected. Be safe.

  4. Great update on the fires. So Sad:o(( Glad you are not in harms way. Hope the rains come to Colorado soon!!

    Stay Safe.....

  5. Sure wish we could send you some of this rain that continues to pour down on us. We've DEFINITELY had enough. Colorado has fires. Florida tornados. Bummer all around.