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Spring Wildfire 2018

| 8/6/2018 8:03:00 PM


Over the years I have written several blogs on wildfire preparation. Nothing however prepares a person for the real thing. We just went through the Spring Fire in Southern Colorado. We were evacuated for two weeks and when able to return to our home we were happy that it was intact but sad for the environment and our neighbors. It was the third largest wildfire in Colorado history. The reality of going through a wildfire and writing about one without having that experience is very different. This wildfire burned hotter than anything the fire commander said he had seen in his 30 years of fighting wildfires. It consumed 160,000 acres and reduced 134 homes to ashes within our community.  

Evacuation The Sensible Action

Anyone who has not experienced a wildfire of this magnitude really can’t imagine how the trauma affects your mental status. We had minutes to evacuate which was harrowing in itself, driving out being showered with embers and flames on each side of the road with thick smoke. Then suddenly we were out and headed for a motel room with our three large German Shepherd dogs which were confused and bewildered exacerbating our situation. Our senior canine family members simply did not understand what was going on. They were not interested in food and just wanted to be close to us.

Hot Spots And Food Contamination

When we finally were allowed to visit our property for the first time (a 1 ½ hour visit) after one week, we then had to leave again which confused them even more. I spent my time on our visit putting out hot spots that had not been addressed around our property. In that limited amount of time we had to empty our refrigerator and our chest freezer which both contained spoiled food.    

Misting Systems Did Not Work

In an earlier blog I mentioned a misting system for wildfire mitigation. The misting system worked just fine until the firefighters pulled the plug on our electricity. It seems that is standard procedure so they will not have to work around downed live electric wires. That makes perfect sense to me because the electrical grid had power poles burned off and wires were down everywhere which would make it dangerous for firefighters on the ground. Since the misting system works off our deep well it stopped working when the electricity was cut; therefore it was of no preventative benefit. If we had a backup generator that would automatically come on when power is out it would probably work under those circumstances, otherwise it is a useless investment.

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