Black Forest Wildfire Camp Evacuation

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Have you ever imagined being evacuated from a fire? It sounds extremely scary. But, imagine if you had leave.

Have you ever imagined being evacuated from a fire? It sounds extremely scary. But, imagine if you had leave.

On June 12th, Boy Scouts and JCC Ranch Camp had to evacuate from Elbert, Colorado. I was a camper during this event.

Alarms had sounded at about noon. The high winds and icky smell were no match to campers. 16 kids including me had just mounted horses and were told ride back to the barn where we would soon go to safety.

JCC had announced the day before that the Black Forest Fire was 27 miles away from the ranch. This relieved most of the campers.

After hearing the alarms, JCC was told to evacuate. It was still 10 miles away, but none of the fire was contained and the winds were heading north. This was a risk for Boy Scouts and JCC Ranch campers. Air quality was terrible. The smoke made it hard to breathe. The sun was orange.

Both camps were taken to safety. JCC Ranch came home to Denver. The animals were taken to Kiawa Fairgrounds. All 250 kids and many animals including horses, chickens, cows, goats, and a llama from the JCC Ranch Camp were safe.

The community in Elbert was very helpful. Locals piled up with trailers to take the animals to Kiawa. The local school district transported staff and campers using buses. Everyone was very helpful and caring.

All of the campers at the JCC Ranch are back in Denver. So far, the ranch is safe. Both camps can't go back until the fire and air quality get better.

Black Forest Fire has burned a lot of homes. This means that if you are told to evacuate you shouldn’t ignore it.

Evacuating is very scary. It is hectic because you have to choose the valuables that mean a lot to you. You have to be organized and not panic. Be sure you know where you are going so you aren’t caught in traffic. Plan ahead and check the wind. You never know where the fire will go.