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Something’s Burning…Again

Noonish today, Carol asked me to go out on the porch and sniff. There was a haze in the air that we don’t generally see, and the faint whiff of fire. I knew that there were a couple of fires over a hundred miles SW of us, and didn’t give it a lot of thought. I had a writers group meeting at 1 PM up at the Pikes Perk coffee shop at Academy and Vickers. We wrapped up a little before 3, and when we got out into the parking lot, Cynthia Felice began gesturing wildly to the northeast. I was already in the car, but I jumped out and looked where she was pointing.

Immense plume of black and gray smoke. I watched for the motion of the billows to get a sense for its distance. My guess was 6-7 miles. Once I got home it was all over the local news, and we learned that it started in the Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs. Measured distance from Pikes Perk to the fire is about eight miles, so I was close. From our house on the other side of the city (we’re less than a mile from the NORAD entrance, if you know where that is) it’s about 18 miles to the fire. I should have snapped a picture on my phone, but I wanted to get my butt home ASAP.

And there’s another one. A new fire broke out down near the Royal Gorge to the west of Canon City at about the same time. That one is even farther away; I measure about 30-35 miles from here. Still, we’re seeing the smoke from here, and the air smells a lot more like fire.

The Black Forest fire is blowing toward the northeast, directly away from us and away from more populated areas in Colorado Springs. However, several houses have already burned, and it doesn’t sound like there’s been any progress yet in controlling the fire.

I’m putting the dog kennels in the 4Runner. I’m watching things on TV. We’re in no immediate danger, but cripes! Up in Black Forest homes were burning half an hour after the fire was reported. When there’s a 30 MPH wind, these things happen fast.

I’ll report here and on Facebook from time to time. Check Facebook first.

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