This has been a fun birthday week for me--it is not every day that one turns 60! Unfortunately, my attention has also been riveted on the terrible Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs, in El Paso County, Colorado. Two people have been confirmed killed and over 360 homes have burned to the ground.
The voracious 24 square mile fire is being fed by unusually hot temperatures, gusty winds, and the lack of rain for many months. The Black Forest was one of the largest contiguous stretches of ponderosa pine in the United States, and is located NE of Colorado Springs, Colorado's second largest city
Due to a surging economy and rapid growth in the region, the Black Forest had been developed over recent years with million dollar homes
Now, one by one, those homes are being totally destroyed, which is also fueling the scope of the fire.
I pray that there will be no further loss of life in this historic fire, and that the brave firefighters and first responders will remain safe. I am also praying that the front range of Colorado gets a much needed drenching rain--rain without lightening, so that no further fires are ignited in other areas!
While we live about 35 miles from this fire, it is ever constant on my mind that the risk of a fast spreading fire like this could also cause extreme damage to our area. The hot, dry high desert climate of Colorado puts everyone on the front range in danger. No matter where one lives, nature can destroy all we worked hard for --tornadoes-floods-earthquakes-hurricanes--fires. The most important thing to do is be ever vigilant and evacuate when told to by the authorities. No material possession is worth your life, or those of your loved ones. Just as I was prepared living in New York City after 9-11, for another terrorism attack, and again after I saw Hurricane Sandy destroy many home around me, I now am making sure my "Go" bag is ready with all the items I may need if I ever have to evacuate our home quickly.
What is your region's greatest weather threat? Do you have a "Go" bag ready just in case?
Here is a good website that gives suggestions as to what to put in your disaster "Go" bag: http://72hours.org/go_bag.html
Please keep Colorado in your prayers--thank you! All Black Forest photos in this post are from the Denver Channel 7 News
I'll be showing you more about how I celebrated my special birthday very soon...stay tuned, and thank you for all your best wishes!