I had just returned from walking our dog on Saturday afternoon when my husband informed me that the Cal-Wood Fire had broken out about 10 miles from our home in northwest Boulder County, Colorado.
I had just returned from walking our dog on Saturday afternoon when my husband informed me that the Cal-Wood Fire had broken out about 10 miles from our home in northwest Boulder County, Colorado. Strong winds pushed the rapidly expanding wildfire toward us as huge billowing smoke clouds formed overhead. Less than three hours after the fire started, we were forced to flee as spot fires ignited the parched land on the mountain that stands directly behind our property.
All summer long, I have obsessively followed news reports about the millions of acres burning across our nation. I’ve watched as wildfire smoke from California to Fort Collins, Colorado, has blotted out the sun in Boulder numerous times this year. I have listened carefully to hundreds of heart-wrenching disaster evacuation stories during my career, and I’ve done my best to ready myself and my family for disasters. Even still, when it came time to evacuate, I was unprepared for just how terrifying it would feel to pull away from our neighborhood not knowing if others were safe and unsure if we would ever return.
As I write these words three days later, I can still hear the screams of emergency sirens echoing in my ears. I can still feel the buzz of slurry planes flying overhead. And so I am writing this to you, wherever you are, because the time is now to make provisions for whatever risks you may face.
Continue reading at University of Colorado – Boulder.
Image via Lori Peek.