Five Pies in Five Days has been interrupted by the Waldo Canyon Fire currently burning in Colorado Springs. Tuesday I was welcomed home from a trip to a mandatory evacuation. We are just 4 of the more than 32,000 who have evacuated their homes, helpless to watch the smoke plumes and pray.
I had been watching the fire from afar, assured it was primarily in the canyon. In three days it had burned a little over 5000 acres, then on Tuesday, 65 mph wind conditions were unmerciful—it went to over 18,000 acres and hundreds of homes lost in less than 24 hours.
It was surreal, startling, unnerving. As we made our way home from the airport I noticed flames at the top of the ridge on the mountain and by the time we got home the smoke was like an erupting volcano. We didn’t have a good view of the hills from our house, so we went a couple of blocks away to take a few photos. Within 15 minutes the scene turned chaotic, traffic clogging with evacuees, firetrucks screaming passed, and people weeping as they watched the flames jump down the hillside.
In an instant a lump caught in my throat. Our beautiful mountain was burning.
We started packing, trying to make decisions and answer scores of text messages pouring in to offer a place to stay. Photos, important papers, irreplaceable items … the smoke is now right upon us, permeating the neighborhood. It was 98° with thick, grey air, the electricity was off, the windows closed … honestly, it was hard to think. Hard to imagine how it all happened so fast.
I wasn’t thrilled that our daughter’s first time to drive by herself after getting her license was for an evacuation, but she really did great. We were proud of her and how well she handled the entire evening. Around midnight we were settled in a friend’s home, all four of us and our dog.
We are safe and sound, our greatest treasure secure. So, now we wait, watch, and pray.