2600 acres. 5% contained No structures burned. That was the Waldo Canyon Fire when my mom and I went to Denver for the day.
2600 acres. 5% contained No structures burned. That was the Waldo Canyon Fire when my mom and I went to Denver for the day. By the time we headed home to Colorado Springs, the highway was clogged with evacuees headed to safety and the sky was dark with smoke, the obscured sun red. The smoke was so thick across the sky it gave the illusion of night. When returned to our house above Mountain Shadows, burned bark and ash dotted our yard. We had barely been home 15 minutes when we got a reverse 911 – a call telling us we were under mandatory evacuation. It was hard to decide what to bring. My parents had a lifetime of photo albums, and we had a house full of stuff we didn't want to lose, but we couldn't bring everything. We packed up everything we couldn't live without – like our pets – and left our neighborhood, with a plume of smoke and a cloud of uncertainty following us.
15000 acres. 32000 evacuated. A federal disaster. The Waldo Canyon Fire.
My family stayed the next couple nights at a friends and at my dad's work, with our pets at work and the frog in the basement. We had lots of offers of a place to stay – before this disaster I had no idea that so many people would be so willing to help us out. For those days we ate mainly sugar cereal and fruit – it was like camping in some else's house. The days passed in a blur of of news casts and damage reports that we anxiously watched, waiting for news.
Our evacuation order was lifted Thursday evening and we, along with our pets, were overjoyed to return home. My bedroom was covered in a layer of fine ash, but we were grateful to have a house to return to. One of my close friends lived in Mountain Shadows, a suburban neighborhood ravaged by the fire. Though her house was left standing, the house next to hers and other houses on her street had burned to the ground. No one ever expected that her neighborhood would burn, a reminder of the eminent powers of nature, and a tragedy for all of us.