The good news is that I am back home and my house and neighborhood were undamaged. The bad news is that 346 homes in the city of Colorado Springs were vaporized and reduced to ashes. In addition, countless others have been damaged. The good news is that there were no serious injuries (I believe) among the hundreds of emergency workers. The bad news is that at least two bodies have been located in a burned residence. The fire is the most destructive in the history of Colorado and thus far nearly 18,000 acres have burned; it is 55% contained. In addition, the USFS noted that the growth potential for the fire is "extreme". Somewhere near 32,000 people evacuated the fire area in Colorado Springs and perhaps 3000 of our friends in Teller County (Woodland Park) left their homes. Today most of us are back home with the major exception of Mountain Shadows, the area experiencing the greatest home loss.
The fire captured my attention like no other natural event. It was a sad situation to see homes burning, but on the other hand watching the forces of nature at work was a shot of adrenaline. Many of us here in the mountain west live at or near the urban-wildland junction and so I suppose we should expect natural disasters. As far as I known this is the first major burn along the range in recorded history. The Ponderosa Pine forest was "full" and seemed waiting for the right moment to ignite. The USFS and other agencies are attempting to ascertain the cause of the fire.
It is good to be home. But, do rocks burn?