It's Monday night and I'm in Denver because Sunday afternoon my neighbor called and said "Look out the window, there's a fire."
Uh, yea. There's a whole bunch of smoke over that next ridge. Where did that come from? It wasn't there 2 hours ago.
I call another neighbor, message a third. The whole little grapevine is ringing and dinging.
Turns out there is a forest fire about 5-10 miles away. The wind is blowing like crazy. The humidity is 12%. It's hot. Basically a perfect storm.
The fire was first reported on Friday but when the forest service went out, they couldn't find it. Same with Saturday. At 2pm on Sunday they found it big time because all of the sudden it was covering about 5000 acres.
Smoke was wafting through the air. The wind was gusting. The sunset was incredible, sun shining through smoke. Poor Carlos was glued to my side, most likely picking up on my anxiety.
Some of us slept just fine.
This morning was clear with only a tiny whiff of smoke on the horizon.
By noon, that had changed.
By 2 it was even bigger.
And by 3:30 when I was heading home from the store...it was just flat out scary.
Five thousand acres had multiplied to 12,000.
That's when I decided there was just no point in waiting until an official evacuation came. And maybe it won't come. If the wind stays from the west, we are golden. If it shifts, well.....if a fire can double in less than 8 hours, I'm pretty sure it can make that 5 mile leap to my house.
I packed Carlos in the car, sent my sweet friend Diana a message to make up the guest room and closed up the cabin. All the goodies that I couldn't bear losing are with me.
Named the Hayden Pass Fire, it is mostly burning on federal land in the Sangre de Cristo wilderness. There's plenty of timber and dead wood to keep it happily fed, and limited access to aid in putting it out. Before I left, helicopters were flying overhead dumping water.
Tonight the fire will "sleep" when the wind dies down. Tomorrow morning? Remains to be seen.
Cross your fingers and say a little prayer for all the houses, animals and people of my little area. I hope I have a cozy cabin in the woods to go home to.
For information on this fire, you can go to:
And if you get a chance, thank a firefighter.
Especially those forest fire fighters.