Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sleeping by the Camp Fire

It's finally warm enough to leave the bedroom window open at night to bring in the fresh, cool air.  But for the last few nights, my sleep has been disturbed each time the wind shifted. Each shift of the wind brings in a few lungfuls of campfire smoke, normally a very relaxing smell.  When you're camping.

When you're asleep in your own bed and you get a whiff of campfire, it tends to jolt you.  So for the last few nights, I've breathed in the campfire smoke, come partially awake and then gone back to sleep when I remember that there's a fire raging out of control in the foothills northwest of me.

It started Monday afternoon and grew steadily.  No structures have been threatened and the wildlands firefighters were working their butts off.

On Tuesday one of the firefighters was taken to the hospital for second degree burns caused by radiant heat.  Not burned by the fire, but burned by the hot air caused by the fire.  It had grown to 1,000 acres, but still no structures were threatened; residents were put on pre-evacuation alert in case the wind shifted.

Wednesday, the fire continued to grow.  The wind shifted and I saw ash falling from the sky.  A friend in Cheyenne wondered why it smelled like a campfire up north.  Cheyenne is a good fifty miles from the fire and they're noticing smoke.  The fire grew to 3,000 acres.  More firefighters and air support were called in.

Today, the fire is over 5,000 acres and we've got over 400 firefighters doing their best to make some headway.  My side of town is covered in what looks like fog, but is, in fact, smoke.  I'm forty miles away from the fire; I can't imagine what the poor folks in Poudre Park, one mile from the fire, are feeling like.

My eyes are on fire, my sinuses are full of snot trying to fight off all the debris in the air - and I'm a healthy person. I can only imagine the misery that people living closer to the fire or who have respiratory issues or allergies are feeling.

Picture of the fire from Tuesday
We've got helicopters and planes flying overhead, making it a surreal experience.  With all of the smoke and debris and air support, it gives me the chills.  Gives me a very small inkling of what it would be like to live in/near a war zone.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Chills. That is insane. Praying for safety, for favorable weather, and for this monster fire to be stopped!