17 April 2008


All of a sudden there was this wind that sent parked strollers across the street and whipped the flags off the flagpoles. A strange wind for the Rocky Mountains, a wind that was reminiscent of a the Northern Most Ice Free Port City, Alaska where the wind would blow my windows open at night and I would have to brave the cold to go outside and reign them back into their hinges. But this wind is unusual here and one could almost feel the trouble it brewed. From the window I watched the snow whipping off the ridges of the tallest mountain in view. The bookstore seemed to fill up with people who had never been in before and the story trickled back in waves.

Fire. Wildfire. A blaze that quickly grew to 300 acres blown across the river, the highway. The highway, the only route really, in this tight valley, was closed. Again I was transported to Northern Most Ice Free Port City, Alaska where the road would close due to avalanches regularly and we would be cut off entirely - a rising claustrophobia. Amazingly, although the fire burned hard and hot, the houses were mostly saved, the livestock, the people, and pets all were. There was one severe injury from a fisherman who was overtaken by the flames in the river. Now that's a story - who expects to be burned while standing in the middle of a river? The first wildfires of the season blossomed all over the state, earlier then usual. Although the ground is exceedingly wet & snow still lies heavily on the ground in places the trees are dry, not having brought up the sap from their roots, and the dry grasses from fall are quick tinder. The haze of yellow smoke covers the sun so that it is like looking at the moon in daylight. The town where I am living, Town at the Confluence of Two Gold Medal Trout Streams, is suddenly alive with people, the bars are full, there are people pacing back and forth talking worriedly on cell phones, people who can't get home even if they live beyond the fire.


  1. I'm thinking of you out there. The river story does sound scary.

  2. scary. i used to live in CA, and got trapped by fire once, and had friends who had to evacuate because of it.

  3. Wow, already? I hope they get everything under control soon. My sister in law and her family were evacuated during a huge wildfire a few years ago - the fire stopped just on the other side of the highway from where they live. Very, very close call.

  4. I've lived thru fire. It is scary as hell.

  5. glad you're all ok. seems like a very early start to the fire season.

  6. amanda, thanks!

    maypole, fire is an amazing, powerful, scary thing, isn't it?

    cae, luckily they did. It is indeed very early but the problem is that even though there is snow on the ground the old dry vegetation from fall still takes a spark.

    mad hatter, it was!

    crazymumma, me too, this isn't the first time. Luckily we both made it.

    matte, indeed it is!

  7. This was so horrible, the photos in the Post were just heart wrenching.

    I hope this is the only fire we see this year. It's more than we should have had.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore


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