Yesterday, June 23, we drove up to Cascade, up Rt 24 west of Colorado Springs, for lunch at a little Colorado wine bar and grill. A plume of smoke, from perhaps a house fire, was rising on the ridge to the north. Small. As lunch progressed, it got bigger and bigger. Hot and windy. We drove on up behind Pike’s Peak, an afternoon ride, and found the smoke was pluming to 20 to 25k feet, and the column was thickening ominously. Fire trucks and fire fighters on the way down the canyon. The fire spread, evacuations started. After dark the blaze was visible from our deck, an ominous red monster.
This morning the fire has spread to 2,500 acres, no containment. They call it the Waldo Canyon fire. All the little communities are being evacuated, including Manitou Springs.
This morning the sun rose red in the smoke that spread loosely to the east. Blue sky everywhere else. Only a little wind out of the north. But in a few hours, the wind will shift to the south, 20 knots gusting to 35, temp 99 degrees. Some of the western subdivisions here in the Springs will be evacuated, one suspects.
THe big fire near Fort Collins has burned 90 square miles, over 200 homes.
Scary. And heartbreaking for the families that lose everything.