|The view from our neighborhood.|
What makes this one so unusual is the sheer size of the thing (currently at 52,000 acres) and how close it is to home. At times, the smoke has been so thick that everyone remarks that it smells like the whole town's been on a week-long campout. A few nights ago, we could actually watch it from our window. Flames licked their way over the foothills, rising and falling and changing direction with the wind. It was mesmerizing -- and a little frightening at the same time.
The hardest part is knowing that all of the lovely areas that I've grown up with: Rist Canyon, Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park, Poudre Canyon and many others are in danger of being consumed by this fire, and that people and countless animals are losing their homes and/or their lives.
Every morning we are heartened by the sound of firefighting aircraft (we live under the Fort Collins/Loveland airport flightpath) but at the same time, we know the odds are stacked against them. It's been far too long since northern Colorado has had a large fire due to decades of vigilant suppression, and the drought and the dead trees have created a perfect storm.
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