The fire is massive at this point, hundreds of houses have been destroyed, thousands of people have been evacuated, nearly 70,000 acres have been burned, and overall containment is back under 50% again.
This is a big fire.
Wildfires are common in the summer months for Colorado. I don't remember a season that went by where there wasn't at least one or two of news-worthy size. The parents of a good friend of mine from high school have been evacuated three times in the last 10 years for living in the wrong canyon. And these things are an accepted part of life in Colorado.
But the current burn situation is starting to make people nervous.
This big fire is not a short lived thing. Evacuation isn't a 2 day event. And there's no end in sight as record high temperatures continue to be clocked and most of the state is under a red flag warning.
But the real fear is the possibility of another one starting.
There are four other good sized wildfires burning across the state right now, including one that's causing evacuation of areas by Colorado Springs.
Last week my father responded to a cabin fire, also started by a lightening strike.
|Cabin fire battled in part by my father with the Timberline Fire Dept. 6/15/12|
It was only a few miles from my house, and literally just down the road from one Kristina's best friends, whose house we were at the next day for his 6th birthday party.
Had the volunteer firefighters not been able to contain and extinguish the blaze, it could have easily turned into another big one, and almost certainly would have put our house in the immediate evacuation zone.
We have a fire evacuation plan taped to the inside of a kitchen cupboard. Copies of it are the glove box of each vehicle we own. My father has drilled me on what the procedure is from how to leave the house to where to go to how to get messages to everyone else. My mother has drilled me on what exactly she wants saved from the house, should I be the only one home when the reverse 911 call goes out. I have drilled Kristina on what to do if there's a house fire, telling her over and over again not to chase after the cats she always worries about and where to go once she gets outside.
The fire danger is very real. And a little scary.