It's been a dry couple of months with only about half the precipitation that we usually get. March is supposed to be the snowiest month here but so far we haven't seen any flakes. With record heat --80 degrees yesterday -- and high winds, red flag warnings were posted this week and people began to talk about when the first fire would hit.
Well, it happened very early this morning when someone spotted flames up on Sunshine Canyon. It's now burned 100 plus acres and apparently isn't contained yet.
Sunshine canyon runs right into town, as you can see from this map.
The yellow marks the evacuation area which holds about 1,000 homes. In theory all the people living in that area are out of there, hunkering down at the East Boulder Recreation Center which is now the evacuation center, or at friends or at the climbing gym or at a bar or someplace besides their homes.
The purple is the pre-evacuation area. All those people are getting their animals, medicines, and important papers packed up to leave if ordered.
Can you see the little black dot to the right of the bottom purple area? That's where we live.
My Pilates teacher lives in the far left side of the top purple area. I really feel for her because she has been working hard to get her house ready to sell in early April and the smoke isn't going to help.
So this fire is closer to us than last year's fire up in Nederland. This morning we woke to the smell of smoke and the sound of low flying airplanes dropping slurry on the fires and then swinging around over the elementary school next to to our house. I think the winds have shifted because right now the smoke smell has lessened. The airplanes have been replaced with helicopters dragging big buckets of water to and from the fire. We have a pretty good view of that action from our living room window.
Well, we'll see what the day brings. Don't worry about us; a whole lot of Boulder homes and businesses would have to burn before the fire would make it this far.
Ben has been at the climbing gym downtown and just called. He says the smoke is pretty pungent down there and that the fire is on the saddle near Lion's Lair, the trail that we like so much up Sunshine Canyon.