Brush fire buring the hillside right above the little town on Toquerville, UT, last Tuesday night. Stone toss from "main street". Folks standing in the streets and in their drive ways watching the fire licking their backyards. Did not see much in terms of firefighting, good thing there was not much wind. Left me feeling erie. Don't think I will shake the 4-mile fire anytime soon.
Check it out. The full-lenght movie premeired on Colorado Public television the other night. Can't say we enjoyed watching it, but I'm glad it's out there. Lot's of interesting subtle statements made in this flick, but much was left unsaid. Maybe one day I'll write up our account of how this played out, the conduct of Boulder County officials, Sheriff Pelle and the media show for political gain that they put on. For a little more on the 4-mile fire, click on the 4-mile fire link to the left.
Yesterday it was a year ago that the 4-mile wildfire ripped through the foothills above Boulder and burned 6000+ acres and 169 homes. The fire burned for nearly a week, during which time most of the residents of 4-mile canyon, Goldhill and Sunshine canyons lived in limbo, not knowing if their homes survived or had burned.
As it turned out, our cabin, above during an up-slope snowstorm - my favorite time in the foothills - got remodeled.
We were out of town, and came back the same morning that the fire started. Thanks to Sheriff Pelle and his boys, we were denied access to our place, 4 hours before our neighborhood went under mandatory evacuation. Unfortunately, we were thus denied the chance to get anything out of the house before the fire came through. One of the really interesting facts about how this played out was that if you were on the other side of the line in the sand, ie, on the fire-side of the road block, you were allowed to drive to the road block, dump a load of belongings, and then head back up the hill for more stuff. I sat on the wrong side of Sheriff Pelle's road block and watched folks make lap after lap until the fire came through, 4 hours later. I needed 20 minutes to get family photo albums, irreplaceable items, wedding bands, hardrives etc. 20 minutes.
It's been an interesting ride ever since. Trying to wade through the insurance process, and dealing with the local and state governments makes the handling the actual fire seem like walk in the park.
For the efforts of the volanteer firefighters, thank you. To our friends, family, ex-collegues at Array, to Christian at OR, the fine folks at Sierra Designs, the Boulder Community Foundation, the amazing generosity of the Boulder community at large, the American Red Cross and the many other non-profits working in the area after the fire, thank you very much for your help and support. Please find the time and a few bucks to donate to the people displaced by the current fire in Texas, or Irene in Vermont, or any other cause. Your donations make a difference, I can tell you that first hand. Half my current wardrobe are donated clothes. A few more from the 'hood and clean up after the fire:
After the complete cluster of Boulder County and the State of Colorado telling residents different things regarding clean up (a classic story in-it-self), we finally got our site cleared. And you can even see some green grass! And the view is way more open then it used to be.
The view from Bald Mountain north to towards the indian peaks and a large swath where the fire come up to Sunshine from 4-mile canyon. Nature begins to recover. Not to linger on the past, empty promises from Boulder County, the conduct of elected officials and their shameless made for media shows, the cutthroat world of insurance companies - we're focusing on rebuilding and trying to turn limes into lemonade. With the help of Fuentes Designs and SLM Construction, we're working building a net-zero strawbale house, with as much recycled and low impact materials as possible, and if all goes well, it should be Colorado first certified passive house. No more utility bills, more on that later.
After our address ended up on the "confirmed destroyed" list and several houses on the "confirmed destroyed" list where fine... Our living room. It used to be a pretty nice place to hang out. As seen from the driveway. Amazingly, the garage survived. So did out neighbors place - you can just barely see it through the trees on the right. We both feel better and ready to move forward now that we know. Huge thanks for all the support and offers to help from family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, clients and the Boulder community. And big KUDOS to the Sunshine vol. FireFighters.
What you don't want to see if when returning after an awesome long weekend in the mountains...
After the fire burned most of the day, the tanker planes finally started to fight the fire once the winds subsided. Get it.
The fire burning our neighborhood on the first night - the information we have at this point is that Misty Vale (our street) was a "wall of fire".
Today, the tankers were at it again, fighting flare ups in Sunshine and Gold Hill.
Burned out car in Sunshine. Most of the area is a blackened mess, but there are still houses standing.
And some that are not.
We still don't know anything about our place or the rest of the houses on Misty Vale. We hope for the best for all those affected by the fire and our sincere thanks for the efforts of the firefighters.
The Mountain Sun and the Southern Sun are donating free round of Pints and dinner for those affected but the fire and the Firefighters. Yeah, BIG SHOUT OUT to the fire fighters, mostly whom are volunteers. Kick some fire ASS!