Waldo Canyon Fire


The day that a friend from San Diego left to return home after a wonderful visit, the Waldo Canyon Fire attacked Colorado Springs.  She and I were just concluding a fabulous tour of the Yves St. Laurent exhibit at the Denver Art Museum (oh so cool if you did not see it) when my cell phone buzzed.  It was my daughter calling from The Springs.  She was animated beyond normal, sharing that a fire had begun above the area where she lives, in Manitou Springs.  I dropped my friend at DIA and booked for home.  The following seven days terrorized the Front Range.  Temperatures broke all records, topping 100 most days.  We watched the flanks of the Rocky Mountains spew smoke in daylight and glow in the darkness.

Our daughter evacuated from her area the first day and decided to remain with us, even after the evacuation for Manitou was lifted.  She lives in the dormer rooms of an old Victorian house, no AC, windows that barely work with no screens.  Needless to say, the jitters over a possible firestorm down that canyon combined with the stifling conditions pointed to hunkering down in our basement room where it is cool.  We were tuned to KKTV all day long, watching the progress of the fire.  I started a quilt for somebody.  It turned out that I was able to give it to a little girl, Emma, who had her first birthday on June 26th, the day that the fire burned the home in which her family was living.  Her parents were on TV spots nation wide.  I thought it would be a nice thing, for Emma, to know that people were thinking about her and her family on that day, even though she may be too young right now to really grasp the situation.  This quilt will be a possession that anchors the memory and supports the story, for her.  I wish her family well in coping with their displacement and the same to each of those who lost both homes and personal possessions.

As we watched the fire grow, in earlier days, we had commented more than once that if anything goes, it will be Rockrimron.   That fear was realized on the afternoon of June 26th.

By the time it was over 346 homes burned to the ground and over 20,000 people were evacuated.  

I include only a few pictures to give an idea of the scene.  Only one was taken by me and that is the sunset, streaked with the fire’s red and gold.  The others came from various sources, some from the Gazette, some from individuals who posted them, and some from Associated Press, in particular photographer Carolyn Kaster.  I tried unsuccessfully to gain permission to post her photos and so I here give her credit.

The fire fighters became our heroes.

This photograph of our president is a Carolyn Kaster photo for sure.

I love that our president came to Colorado Springs, just to shake the hands of the fire fighters and the evacuated people.



Filed under Colorado

2 responses to “Waldo Canyon Fire

  1. suesun

    I’ve seen a whole lotta love come out of this tragedy, that’s for sure, and so much of it for our fire fighters. They are not just heroes, they are superheroes.


    • No doubt, Sue! I have always been impressed by the work that firefighters do, coming from California where fires are always with us. This year Colorado really feels their powerful impact.

      I was feeling kinda helpless during all of this. Silly, but my first thought when I found out our daughter was evacuating Manitou/OCCity was to email you to invite you here. I wanted to do SOMETHING! I did manage to find the family to give that quilt that I made during the fire to the little girl who was on the news. Someday she and her parents can talk about that day, with the quilt as a tangible anchor to the story, and one that speaks love. The label says “Love Makes the World Go Round” tee hee hee… I liked that. Jewel said it best. “In the end, only kindness matters.”

      Now we all need to take those feelings into the future. Instead of complaining about big government in our lives, we need to recognize that the government is really us, coming together as community to provide support, to accomplish things that nobody can accomplish on their own.



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