Fire to Fire, Colorado

This is the worst stay-cation, meaning I can’t really leave my house for the smoke outside. Fires are currently raging across my slice of the west.  On Tuesday the Royal Gorge blaze erupted while we were in Canon City.  We went there on a lark.  I am pleased to report that Canon City and its residents are now safe and that the Royal Gorge Bridge has been saved.  Here is a view of the smoke plumes rising behind a Canon City mural.

Royal Gorge Fire Plumes Behind Canon City Mural

On the way back home, which was an arduously long journey, due to road closures and traffic, we neared the Black Forest Fire.  Having my camera with me, and nothing more pressing to do, I took photos.

Smoke Plumes of Black Forest Fire Lit by Sunset

Another blaze flared up to the north of us last night.  Friends have been affected.  Wild fire is a natural part of any forest ecosystem.  In fact controlled burns are often part of forest maintenance, so wildfires wont’ feed so ravenously on dead wood and dry undergrowth. It was a lovely wet spring  (water is precious here)  and lots of green sprang up in our normally dry climate, only to be scorched by the sun  in a week of dry heat.  We still don’t know how these fires have started, whether it was stray lightning or careless people with cigarette butts.  I do still see people on Colorado highways throw burning cigarettes out of windows.  Remember that one unthinking action can cost lives and homes.

I have heard the argument that people shouldn’t live in areas prone to natural disasters.  This argument is infuriating because many areas are affected by hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires and mudslides.  I cannot think of any area that is immune from  a so called ‘act of God.’  If we followed the philosophy of only living in ‘safe’ areas, no part of our plant could be inhabited.

In the burn-scarred landscapes, months from now, new shoots will sprout.  This is what I really want to photograph.


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