It’s Teachy Thursday! Do you know what that means!? Me either. Today is saved to teach or preach or rant… I haven’t decided. I have a lot of thoughts about what to post today and I came across a blog that wrote about the fire growing near Ft. Collins. It is the High Park Fire and it has consumed nearly 50,000 acres of beautiful Colorado wilderness. Not to mention homes. The blog I read today has inspired me to also talk about this fire. So today I want to teach and preach, (sorry about preaching, but ranting is my favorite thing) about the unforgettable force of nature.
I’m not sure when this fire started. I often read the news, but have strayed away lately because it’s so damn depressing. I woke up Monday for my regular run and notice a distinct smell in the air. The smell that, if you have lived in Colorado long enough, can only be known as a fire growing nearby. Except this fire isn’t nearby. This fire is almost 2 hours drive away. Yet I saw the smoke billowing in the distance. This fire is huge. I have seen a few fires since living here. There was the Lower North Fork Fire that burned not long ago near my house. It killed 3 people and damaged plenty of houses. A couple of weeks ago I saw the smoke from a fire burning in New Mexico and Utah in the same day. It’s smell lingered into my neighborhood and the fire was over 5-8 hours away. The hills that line the highway less than 1 mile away were engulfed 2 years ago. The ash fell in the yard. So I’ve seen what a fire can accomplish in just a matter of minutes.
My aunt and uncle live in Ft. Collins. Ash is falling in their yards and more homes are being evacuated. So far, they are okay. It is one of the reasons I feel compelled to write this post.
I think the fire is devastating. When I think of a fire this size, my brain fears for the animals. I love them. I know that they instinctively know what to do, but I feel for them. I think about the humans too. I really can’t imagine …. Oh wait…. Yes I can. I have never been pushed out of a home due to fire, but I have been in other natural disasters. I lived on a boat in Key West and a hurricane – 2, came consecutively and my husband and I had to abandon our home – forever. I digress. While I am saddened by the fire, my husband has a different view. He says it’s just part of nature and nature needs to reset itself. I know this goes with all disasters. I still feel for the people who are effected by what nature needs to reset, the animals driven out of their homes, and the devastation that is left behind.
I am from Missouri and I have seen my share of what Mother Nature can do. I have lived through many tornadoes. My family nearly escaped with their lives the day the F-4 ripped through Joplin. I saw the chaos another F-4 left as it smashed through small towns only a few miles away from my mother’s house. When I was little, a tornado picked up my swing-set and dropped it two streets away.
We see what Mother Nature can do when she sends hurricanes the size of Texas on top of little islands. We see earthquakes that swallow bridges, buildings, and the innocent people in its way. Volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, tsunami, floods; I don’t think there is a single person on this planet that hasn’t been through a natural disaster. My husband and I were talking about the flood in Missouri that swallowed cities and nearby towns for weeks. Do you remember that flood? I believe it was 1994. I went there with my dad and we drove over the bridge that connects Missouri and Illinois. The water was mere feet from the top of the bridge.
We live on a planet that holds extreme beauty. Lucious landscapes that can be demolished in a matter of minutes. While nature can regrow in months, it takes years for a community to re-build. Look at the homes still damaged from Katrina. The tornado that took Joplin still leaves its mark over a year later. The F-4 that tore through 3 towns in 1994, still leaves its mark today. I almost write as if there isn’t any hope. That nature will soon overtake us. For some this is an unbearable thought. I think we should respect that we have no control over what Mother Nature can do and will do to maintain the beauty of what is hers. While the destruction is devastating and some hit too close to home and I would cry if I lost family due to her destruction, it’s her house and we are just guest.
I started writing this and my mind went to a place where nature is most destructive. I then started to think why. I was going to start typing away about the planet trying to reset itself. Or perhaps we are just in the way of something that is out of our control and these fires that are natural would have happened whether we were here or not. We just happened to build a house on land that was meant to go up in flames, flooded, swallowed, destroyed…etc. My environmentalist side started searching for the nearest soap box. Then, I stopped. I shut off my computer and found something to eat. I am back with a clearer head. We are here. That is all. If we are in the way of nature’s destruction, let’s hope you have what it takes to survive. Nature is beautiful, even its destruction. Even with that thought, I feel nothing but sorrow for the people who have to deal with the fire first hand. The people who are forced out of their homes and the firefighters struggling to stop a raging inferno. This fire was started by lightning. It wasn’t started by a cigarette, a careless camper, an out-of-control controlled burn, or an idiot with a firework. Nature, in my opinion, needed to get rid of something and start over; which it will. It always does. We are here to dwell on this planet. Nature will do what it will to keep the planet thriving. We can only stand back and respect it. Well, I tried to hold back my other half, but she came out anyways.
I hope the fire is contained soon. I hope it rains for days.
Here are some articles about the fire burning now and a fire that burned 2 months ago not too far from my neighborhood. I also included the blog posts that inspired mine. Thank you.
We can all search Google and find wonderful pictures, but I often find that “real” photos capture what needs to be said best. The first two are’t mine.
Have you ever been in the path of Nature’s Fury? Share your story below.
- High Park Wildfire 2 (wincharles.wordpress.com)
- High Park Wildfire (wincharles.wordpress.com)
- Colo. firefighters continue to battle growing blaze (usatoday.com)
- Update: About 2,500 homes evacuated due to Colorado wildfire – @denverpost (blogs.denverpost.com) – Lower North Fork Fire