Black Forest Wildfire - June 2013

A Devastating wildfire in Black Forest made international news because of its intensity and the number of homes destroyed (498).  We came very close to loosing ours - subsiding winds and heroic work by fire fighters made the difference. 

Several of our friends lost everything.  We were under mandatory evacuation for three days, staying at our special friend Della's townhouse in Colorado Springs.  During the evacuation period, we did not know if our house had burned or not.

When we made it home, we found our house and property was untouched by the fire. However, it was a close call - just across the road (Vollmer) that borders our property, there was extensive fire damage. The area across the road is a 40 acre forest reserve owned by the Audubon Society and not maintained.  As a result there are a lot of pine needles and dead branches on the ground. The fire fed on this debris and traveled along the ground, burning the pine needles and branches, as well as small trees and low-hanging branches of large trees.

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To see a slideshow of the pictures, click here

Some photos of the devastation.

Our house and the active fire area shown on Google Earth.  The red area was captured with heat-sensitive infared cameras.

Picture was taken from our property toward the burned area.

Taken from the burned area with our house barely visible in the background.

Blackened burned area.

All underbrush burned.

Charred tree in burned area.

Near by, a few of the 498 who were not as lucky as we were and lost their homes.

Just white ash left.

In many areas, some homes were untouched, while others near by burned to the ground.