As we drove home from Wyoming on Monday, I noticed a plume of smoke rising from the mountains.  “That’s not good, ” I said to Kelsea.  “It’s too windy.”  Looks like I was right.

Boulder is a good place to live.  But like anywhere else, it has its risks, and fire is one of them.  We’ve been fairly lucky this year, until now.  I recall a fire last year that glowed red in pockets in the moutainside in the darkness.  Many years ago, when Pat and I still lived in town, the Black Tiger fire burned and burned in Boulder Canyon.  It was so close to our apartment that I could see the hot spots burning on the hills as I lay in bed at night.  And that was scary.

The summer of the Hayman Fire, some years back, was our worst summer in my memory; it burned tens of thousands of acres.  The Fourmile Fire has burned less than 10,000 acres, but the same number of homes as were lost in the Hayman Fire.  The foothills of Boulder are pretty populated.  I’ve thought about living up there myself, and even these fires don’t deter me from considering that as an option.

That said, while the plumes of smoke still rise from the foothills (though yesterday’s brief rain was a godsend) and the haze still hangs in the air, it is painful to see the lands we love burn and the people we consider our neighbors lose so much.  Animals are wandering into town to escape the flames, and wildlife officials are telling the public to just leave them be – I guess they’ve gone through enough as well.

Kelsea and I took a lot of pictures on Monday – I’ll post some on MonkeyEye soon.

So say a few prayers to the weather gods to enlist their help for the firefighters; let’s put this one to rest.