Monday, July 2, 2012

Purple Mountains Majesty

I posted on Sunday about the fire in Colorado Springs, how it looked to us and how sad we were about it. There was a lot of smoke over the mountains that we could see from our house. We spent most of the weekend and Monday and Tuesday staying indoors. I had a hair appt on Tuesday evening; as I started to drive down toward my appt the mountains opened completely to my view and I almost swerved the car seeing them completely engulfed in flames.

This is shot was (not taken by me) literally taken from the exact location where I was having my hair done. 15 min into my appt suddenly we could smell smoke everywhere. Security came around and told everyone that if stores wanted they could voluntarily close because the air quality was so bad. As I finished and walked out to my car there was smoke everywhere, and ash was falling like snow. Before this moment there had been some smoke but the wind had shifted and engulfed the entire city in a smoke cloud. They had to close a section of the interstate because the visibility was so bad.

I drove home and spent my night glued to the television until we forced ourselves to sleep at 2am. The wind had changed directions unexpectedly and the fire began to spread at a rate of 65 mph into the city.

Everyone in the city sat horrified watching the news casts and watching live shots as the fire spread and homes began to burn. Everytime there was another home caught there would be a bright hot spot on the camera. 

I noticed the next day that there was a light dusting of gray on my furniture in the house from all of the ash. Air conditioners are not common in Colorado so we have window units and it has been 90-105 degrees and dry the past week.

32,000 people were evacuated (including my sister) 346 homes were lost, 17,000+ acres (and counting) and 2 confirmed deaths. 

 Everyone knows someone who lost their home, and every morning I feel like I get up to quickly turn on the TV and check facebook to make sure nothing horrible happened the previous night. 

This picture below would be about the exact view from my parents home which is 10 miles north of mine.

 Between the 2 pictures above and below you can see the "scar" on the mountains (which was caused by mining) to see how large this fire spread.

The fire is currently 45% contained, the parks have been reopened and the air quality has improved greatly in the past few days. Once all the smoke is gone I am anxious to see how badly our beautiful mountains are scarred. 

Katharine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to America The Beautiful and the lyrics "Purple Mountains Majesty" after visiting Colorado Springs about Pikes Peak and the mountains around them.


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