I’m sure everyone has seen the devastating news of all of the wildfires in Colorado recently. First, the High Park Fire tore through Fort Collins and the Poudre Valley to the North. Since then there have been fires in Estes Park, a new fire in the Boulder area that started a couple of days ago, and of course the Waldo Canyon Fire which is now burning through residential areas in Colorado Springs.
I can’t even begin to imagine the feelings of helplessness that the firefighters and residents are experiencing throughout the state. There is a statewide fire ban (as well as fireworks ban) but at this point fires can easily be started by a cigarette butt thrown out the window. The fire in Boulder was supposedly a grassfire started by lightning (I’m not sure if that’s true). I can only hope everyone obeys the fire ban – especially those out camping.
Currently, there are 3 fires near Durango. As far as I know they are letting the Little Sand Fire to the east burn out because it is not threatening any homes. The Weber fire to the west is 20% contained and they hope to have more control by the end of the week. I don’t know anything about the State Line Fire.
Our view of the Weber Fire from downtown Durango (last Friday, when it first started)
With an extremely low amount of snow melt from the dry winter and record high temperatures throughout the state, the conditions are ripe for a fire. There is a tension in the air and I can tell people here are nervous. I know that I am – our neighborhood is a bit outside of town and in a more rural area. The whole area seems extra crispy and it would not take much for a fire to start here.
I guess the only good thing to come out of this is the fact that we are all very aware of the chances of a fire – it won’t take us by surprise. Fortunately, we have the ability to be prepared ahead of time.
My husband and I have sat down and talked about what to do in case of an emergency. We are setting aside a box or two and filling them with our “non-replaceable” items…when we really think about it, in this whole house full of stuff there is not much that can’t be replaced. Sure it would be a hassle to have to start over, but clothes and furniture are not what makes our lives complete.
There is only a handful of stuff we would really want to take:
Boxes of printed pictures that we could not replace
Computers (also for all of the pictures that are stored on them)
Jewelry – I have a few pieces I would hate to lose like a sapphire ring from my late grandmother and my mom’s engagement ring (plus my rings of course)
Important papers – we have all of these stored in a safe box (birth certificates, social security cards, marriage license, insurance information, my husband’s military paperwork)
Last but not least…these two guys
I would be devastated if we could not get them out in time. I have set out their cat carriers to be in an easily accessible location. They are on that chair about 90% of the time so we wouldn’t have a hard time tracking them down.
So as morbid as it sounds, we are planning for the worst case scenario. Luckily, there are multiple routes out of our neighborhood so we could easily evacuate if need be. We also have good friends who live outside of town in an area that is safe from fires. We have already told them that we will crash with them if something happens…they have no choice!
If you live in an area where a natural disaster could happen, I urge you to be prepared. Take a little time to think about what you would do in case of an emergency: what you need, how you could get out, where you could go. It’s not the most pleasant thing to think or talk about, but it can’t hurt.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all those being affected by the fires, I hope you are safe.