My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones in the California Paradise Fire last November. I hope you were able to see Frontline last night, Fire in Paradise. I think it is important that the rest of us understand what some Americans have gone through and what they lost. In less than 4 hours a small fire that started 8 miles from Paradise engulfed the entire town from all directions. Many of the 40,000 residents simply did not believe the speed of this fire. Others tried to get out, but the roads were too jammed up to escape. Eighty-five Americans, most over age 65, died in this wildfire.
I felt a strong need to watch this episode of Frontline because we had our own wildfire here last July, and if not for our wonderful and amazing local firefighters, that town could have easily been La Veta, population 8-900.
The night that fire started, I sat in my bed and watched the fire jump from mountaintop to mountaintop across a couple valleys behind us. I could also see our local firefighters out there giving their all to contain that fire. The next day the National Guard was called in along with the Hot Shots and firefighters from around our nation. We were evacuated the next day for a week, as the fire jumped Highway 160 and came towards our new home. Our fire burned a total of 108,045 acres, and was the third-largest wildfire in Colorado history.
The residents of Paradise where not so lucky. They basically had no warning. The fire came flying into their town so fast and only half were warned properly by Code Red. But even then their roads were inadequate to evacuate the entire town in less than an hour. Imagine the fear and anguish.
Like most disasters, news reporters flash on a big story for a day or two and then we all forget, but not me. Every report from California and every single day of our latest series of three snowstorms here in southern Colorado remind me of how lucky we are to still be receiving large amounts of moisture. Yep. Fifteen inches of snow is fine with me!
5 thoughts on “My Own Experience With WildFires and Snow Storms”
Thanks for you story. We live in SE WA and are beset by fires in the summer and fall. Got evacuated from a campground once in the middle of the night. Scary. So far it’s stayed out of our town. People have no idea how fast it moves, when you get the “go” for heaven’s sake run. Make sure you and yours, and neighbors are signed up for your local emergency calls/notices.
Hi Celia and thanks for coming by. I was actually one of the first to call 911 when the smoke appeared west of us!
Wow! Thanks for sharing. You really added such a personal dimension to the news story for me.
You’re right. Too often we never hear about the tragic final tolls these wildfires cause. Thank God you didn’t have to go through that. When I lived on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country a fire started miles away, and in a few minutes, it had spread to the canyon behind my house. For days planes and helicopters dropping fire retardant, along with my husband and the neighbors, were out there with the firefighters, making sure the fire didn’t leap up the canyon wall and swallow us in its path of destruction. It’s terrifying! xoxox, Brenda
Hi Brenda! Luckily our fire didn’t get that close to our home, just very smoky from below so we couldn’t really see how much had burned. When we got back home all was well, except my fear that it could all happen again!