Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Fourmile Canyon Fire

Jonny and I were just about to get in the car yesterday to drive up Boulder Canyon to go biking at West Mag when he noticed this (view from my street at approx. 11:00 a.m.):

He was all for going anyway but there was no way I was leaving the dogs alone in the house and driving 45 minutes away into the mountains until I knew what was going on.  The light turned a weird nuclear apocalyptic orange and ash was falling everywhere.  I kept checking the t.v. and internet but it took about 20-30 minutes for information to start trickling in.  Then even Jonny had to admit that going up there was a no go.  As I suspected they closed Boulder Canyon though they were letting people out of the canyon so at least if we'd been up there we wouldn't have been trapped.

The fire isn't threatening my neighborhood as of this morning and the evacuation cut-off is a good mile away but I'm in direct line with the smoke plume which can be seen from space.  The air quality is bad from the smoke and I keep getting ash in my eyes and in my hair and on my dogs but otherwise we're safe and if the winds stay calm as they're supposed to we should be o.k.  But it's a scary bad fire for the folks in the foothills.  I feel especially bad for the people who were away from home when the fire started and were not allowed into the precautionary evacuation zones to rescue their pets.  I would be going apoplectic if that was me getting turned away.  And then there are the idiots who are refusing to evacuate.  And THEN there are the asshats who show up to gawk and interfere with the fire crews.  Jonny and I watched car after car try to head up one of the closed roads only to get turned back at the roadblock.  I can't fathom what these people are thinking.

I shot some photos from the Wonderland and Foothills trails yesterday at around 4 p.m.

Looking west from Wonderland Lake Trailhead

Looking west from Foothills Trail

I have more photos on my Facebook, this link should be public so you don't have to join Facebook to see them.

Also an amazing photo here.  And a slideshow of local's photos from the local news.  And more photos of the flames from last night.

Useful links for locals:

Boulder County Sheriff and Fire live audio feed

Boulder Office of Emergency Management

I think I finally hear planes and/or helicopters overhead which is actually a reassuring sound.  Supposed to have 7 slurry bombers working today but didn't hear them earlier this morning.  Right now the fire is burning in on itself  and not expanding but the firefighters aren't able to do much in the way of fighting it directly.  I know a place that I think will be good to go for photos that is not in an area that's closed or near the fire so may go up later today to see what's going on.


  1. I hope they dowse it soon. I heard on the radio someone who had gone down to boulder for brunchand then couldn't get back in. Like you, I'd be going insane. I wonder if I'd said "I have family members there who cant' evacuate themselves" whether I could've gone in to get my dogs? Or they'd probably ask for a description which would really blow it.

  2. That's exactly my plan if that ever happens to me because they were letting people in to evacuate ill/disabled family members. They also were stopping people as they left the evacuated areas, presumably so they could keep track of people who had left and I'm not sure what they'd do to you if they found out your family member was a dog. But I'd risk it anyway.