Thursday, June 28, 2012

Now It's Fire Weather

I'm still wide awake...I just finished Wednesday's blog, "Whew!" I thought about addressing the Colorado Springs wildfire at the end, but I didn't want to be a "Debby Downer"

The truth is I watched streaming coverage for a couple of hours Tuesday afternoon as The Waldo Canyon Fire continued to burn outside of Colorado Springs. I became aware of the fire Monday when a blogger I read regularly tweeted that she was evacuating.

The Waldo Canyon Fire started Saturday west of Colorado Springs. Tuesday is the fifth day in a row of Record High Temperatures in Colorado Springs. The mercury hit 100°F while I watched Tuesday afternoon. Wind weren't unreasonably high, and they were Southernly, keeping the fire contained to a North/South ridge well west of town. About 3000 souls had been evacuated along with my blogger and her family. No deaths or injuries to residents or firefighters were reported, but some structures, including homes were reported lost.

Wildfire has wormed it's way onto my thought railroad over the past couple of weeks because the Reno NWS has been issuing many Red Fire Warnings for the Tahoe Basin, and last week the temps here in the Inland Valley hit triple digits.

Monday, Truckee's local newspaper tweeted news of a fire within Truckee's Town Limits. Monday was the five year anniversary of the Angora Fire that destroyed 242 homes and 67 commercial structures and burned 3,100 acres in South Lake Tahoe.

I found myself drawn like a moth to flame by the ongoing scenes from the Waldo Canyon Fire. Local TV station KKTV was doing yeoman's work covering the fire, evacuations, traffic, weather and Forest Service press conferences.

Just before the Giants-Dodgers game began (8:15PM MDT) the weather threw a hanging curveball to the firefighters. Record afternoon heat kicked of a string of thunderstorms that steered the prevailing winds from southernly to westerly, and in mere minutes the fire leapt off the containment ridge and down Queens Canyon headed at a fast clip right into the western outskirts of Colorado Springs.

Nighttime came early as the plume of smoke blew across town, and another 7000 evacuations were made mandatory.

The smoke crossing the valley like a squall line on the sea. The Sun obscured enough to see sunspots with the naked eye.
I snapped a photo from my laptop's screen as the smoke plume descended on Colorado Springs.

I couldn't bear to leave the Giants shutout of the was yet another exciting contest. When the game ended I looked back in on the fire coverage. Evacuations had ballooned to 32,000 souls, and the video showed homes burning in the darkness.

My heart ached watching the young TV newspeople trying to report the unthinkable while trying to soft pedal the horror, and offering encouragement to their viewers who are after all, their neighbors.

Pray for Colorado Springs, and for Christ's sake be careful with fire!

Wednesday Postgame Update:
Prayers for Colorado Springs appear to have been answered. No T-Storms bloomed today, thus no outflow winds to wreak havoc on the firefighters, and reports of light rain and rainbows are giving hope to residents Wednesday evening.Though Red Flag coditions still persist, the winds are SW again, which keeps the fire from entering Colorado Springs wholesale.

Back at AT&T Park, Tim Lincecum finished the breakout from his deep, two month long slump, and lead the SF Giants to a three shutout sweep of the arch-rival LA Dodgers!

Thanks to @TheMelkmen who retweeted the link to "Whew!" I fielded more than 120 page views and counting. Thanks @Melkmen followers!

The Giants have a day off Thursday...It'll give me an opportunity to put together my Tour de France Fantasy Racing Team!

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