Mustangs Musts...

Mustangs Musts...
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Camp le June...three fires, Carlos Castaneda....

...how peculiar that the strawbale house stands amidst charred trees, shrub, houses and roads... I built a house of straw on a foundation of sand (the biblical no-no)...and three little pigs...Not even a kiss of the fire - not even the odor of ash...just black charr around as far as the eye can see. Phoenix out of the ashes during the year of the dragon...The trees have burned the animals have suffered tremendous loss, they say next year will be an explosion of wildflowers....the Strawbale House, "Don't your horses eat it?" the one that no one wanted to insure, stands solemn in a black and white and wilted neighborhood.. Did I mention that the STRAW-berries also survived and the Bed-STRAW...I am reverend...This was the THIRD fire in golden June of 2012...Hewlett Gulch started late May, then the Stuart Hole fire in Cherokee Park, the back to the POUDRE an the High Park Fire got the fuel and zunder it needed to burn 89 000 acres....June 9th to the end...my story is only a small and relatively harmless account. What I remember most is the constant hauling of horses, from here to Bonner Peak to evacuate there down to Wellington back to here and then around again.

I also remember the strange evening walks with neighbors and friends, and the strange migration of deer and insects...the smell - the life on hold...the thoughts of essential packing.

I will never forget INCIWEB.ORG and the intense search for indicators that the wind, the weather, the watergods would turn the course of events.

This was just the beginning, then the Pre-Evacs started followed by the EVACS, the reverse 911, the collecting of personal belongings..And then on the 23rd, after several SPOT fires and successful jumps across the POUDRE with extreme heat and wind combined Stephens Gulch and Sheep Mountain gave out, the slash pile was lined up and the containment lines, dozer paths and contingency lines accelerated the flames into the 12th filing with heat and speed exceeding the capacity of any fire fighting technology (?) and burned so hot that 20 minutes consumed over 60 houses and charred the landscape with holes burning out roots several feet deep.
There was a life-stream helicopter which allowed us to view and take Screenshots as the fire burned...
Note the only green circle left center is where my mustangs grazed a pasture. The fire did not want to cross the fence into the grazed area. This house was saved.
Note again the triangualar shaped green spot top center of pic is my pasture and house, grass not burned and house safed. Most other building sites visible here were destroyed. On the lower left the dozer line and the contingency lines held the fire away from the other filings.
THE STRAWBALE HOUSE on June 23rd 5pm. As seen on the denverchannel from the helicopter livestream of the fire as it swept through the 12th filing in 20 minutes. Smoke still rising from the house or the tree. At that point I did not know whether this was still burning or not.
Coming closer to my friends and neighbors houses.
House, garage and rock garden... Just a day before my "Equine Mower Ruigoord, the Icelandic" had done his best for fire mitigation eating his little heart out on the high grasses of her leachfield...This burned so hot and fast that more than a week later when we were allowed escorted to inspect our rubble every little item was still burning hot to the touch.
Hovering helicopter siphoning water from riddle lake by the western Ridge...
The Final Countdown. You can see that the black line kept its promise to some extent. The fire consumed the 12th filing with little distraction.
This is my beautiful neighborhood with 74E (Redfeather Lakes Rd in the foreground). You can see the charred hills and then the dozer line on the left middle. The 12th filing is but gone, good to remember though, that the fireseason has just started and what is burned will not easily burn again.

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