The Fires in Colorado and How You Can Help

Unless you don’t watch, read, or listen to national news or live or have friends in Colorado, you have probably heard about the devastating fires that are flaring up all over the state. One of those fires became frighteningly close this past weekend. Named after its origin, the Waldo Canyon Fire jumped a ridge into the city of Colorado Springs on Tuesday, destroying 346 homes by Thursday.

Just due to fortunate geographical location, except from some pretty smoky days, my home was not affected by this. I am one of the lucky ones.

Waldo Canyon Fire

Waldo Canyon Fire (Image via The Denver Post)

On most days, Colorado Springs sits underneath clear, blue skies. My west facing windows frame unobstructed views of Pikes Peak. In about 45 minutes, I can be on my way up that mountain or hiking on various other trails throughout the vicinity. The mild summers, spectacular views, and the absence of mosquitoes makes hiking quite pleasant.

As I looked out my window on Tuesday, there was no sign of Pikes Peak existence. Instead, dull grayness obstructed my view. If I stepped out onto my deck, a smell akin to burning leaves of fall flooded my nostrils and seeped into my clothes. But instead of controlled piles of leaves, distant trees, brush, and homes were burning out of control leaving a thick, hazy layer that blocked even the sun. Ash and burning debris the size of my hand fell out of the sky all over the city.

The good news is that with over 18,000 acres burned, 346 homes destroyed, and 1,000 firefighters battling in temperatures over five hundred degrees, not one person was seriously injured or killed during all of this.

The City Pulled Together

This was a natural disaster that caused hundreds of structures to be burned to the foundations. No one could have predicted this. Yet, the outpouring of compassion across the city was unbelievable.

Care and Share, the American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army stepped up to welcome donations specifically to hand out to the evacuees and the over 1,000 firefighters risking their lives to save our city. Touching. Remarkable. Yet, probably not enough. Certainly not enough to replenish the emotional void that many of these families will be feeling for awhile.

How You Can Help

The emotional and financial toil from the fires will linger for some time in Colorado Springs, but the community will recover just as any other city does after major devastating acts of nature.

The path of fires has not only affected my city, but many other places scattered across the state. Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the States, and it is heartbreaking to see some of it burned to the ground.

If you want to help Colorado, please consider a donation or volunteer opportunities if you are local.

If you know of any other non-profit organizations dedicated to helping the survivors of these fires, please comment below.

Thank you for all your support.

And to firefighters across the nation, thank you. Thank you for putting your lives at risk to save others. Each and every day. God Bless you.

 

2 Responses to The Fires in Colorado and How You Can Help

  1. http://Www.wildfiretees.com are selling t-shirts and claim 100% of the profits are going to fire relief, but in this day and age, how can we be sure?

    Rita June 29, 2012 at 5:56 am Reply
    • Thanks Rita! Good to fact check first because I am sure many others will come out. I am sure you know, but there are NO agencies going door to door right now to collect, either. Sadly, some people will try to benefit from this tragedy!

      Julie June 29, 2012 at 9:50 am Reply

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