First was the fire west of Ft. Collins that is now approaching 100,000 acres and is still only 55% contained. It is the second largest fire in state history and the most destructive with over 250 homes destroyed. It has been burning for 18 days. Next came the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs - it is barely 5% contained and is rapidly expanding at over 5100 acres.
Just an hour ago a line of high base thunderstorms passed over the Flatirons in Boulder and my mind immediately said “That’s not good.” I looked out my upstairs window and saw lightning strike in the foothills, and sure enough a few minutes later I saw smoke. Now I can see flames. It’s at six acres in less than an hour and evacuations are being ordered within the Boulder city limits.
The one bright spot is that with all the firefighting equipment in the area they are throwing everything at it to keep it under control. I have already seen helicopters and an air tanker dropping slurry.
It’s really a nightmare scenario - the winter of 2010-2011 saw near-record snowfalls, and a warm summer meant a lot of growth of underbrush. This last winter was the opposite, warm and hardly any snow, followed by record heat. It has been over 100°F for four days in a row, a new record. The foothills are a tinderbox.
I once thought about moving into the foothills, but I don’t think I will anymore.