Colorado Fires

  The 416 fire outside Durango...

The 416 fire outside Durango...

Once again, Colorado finds itself in a very nasty fire season (as does much of the West).  The conditions out there are horrible: very dry and very hot.  It seems crazy to me just how severe of a drought they're in this year, as when I was out there for my Colorado Trail trek last July, it was the wettest summer I'd ever experienced, and we lived out there for 15 years.  For a large chunk of my trek, I was setting up and/or breaking camp in the rain.  I remember driving back to Colorado Springs after one outing, and South Park was super green and lush.  In July!  I'd never seen South Park green even in the spring when we lived there - not once - and we drove through there all the time as we took weekend trips out to Fairplay, Summit County, Buena Vista, etc.  Alas, most of CO didn't see much snow over the winter (if I recall correctly, I think most areas only got like 20-30% of average annual snow pack), and there weren't any spring rains to make up for it.  Hopefully a healthy monsoon season picks up here in the next month or so...

It's kind of weird: as I read about the fires online, discuss with friends back there on social media, etc., I feel kind of bad for not being out there myself.  I feel like I want to be there as a matter of solidarity: to commiserate, to provide any help as needed, to inform, etc.  It feels weird being separated from it.  I think the reality is, that even after four years back in MN now, I still really identify as a Coloradan.  The landscape, the outdoor culture, etc. - these things are still an important part of me; "in my blood", so to speak.  I've been thinking a lot lately about going back...

Anyway, I digress!  For those of you looking for the latest reports on current wildfire situations in Colorado, besides the major news news outlets, check out these online sources for the latest:

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dfpc/current-wildfires
https://www.facebook.com/COWildfireInfo/

Cheers,
R