Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nikki Post: Colorado Wildfires

I usually try to keep this blog light-hearted and funny, full of silly pictures of my stuffed armadillo going on adventures, but today I want to break character for a minute and talk about a very serious subject.

Even though Colorado governor John Hickenlooper has said otherwise, Colorado is burning. This is no exaggeration. Pictures are popping up all over Google, national media outlets, local news organizations, and social media (especially Twitter). People are desperate to find ways to help the victims, whether it's to donate money, necessities, or even their homes to evacuees. I'll be posting links to these organizations at the bottom of this post. First though, I'd like to share with you some pictures of the various wildfires so everyone who isn't in Colorado can appreciate the desperation our citizens are in. Imagine that these are your homes, or the homes of your loved ones. Can you even fathom how terrifying this is for people who don't know if their homes have burned? Who don't know if their mementos, important documents, clothes, and even animals are safe? Who have nowhere to stay except maybe a high school gymnasium, a YMCA, or the shelter of a stranger's house? Again, please scroll all the way down to find ways to help Colorado's citizens.


This comment was posted on a Reddit forum conversation about the fires:

"I'm a firefighter. Sadly, I'm not there, I'm out for this season with an ankle injury and paperwork fuck-ups. But yes, the weather can and will take a fire and turn it into a monster in a mater of minutes. I saw it happen in Northern California in '08, I saw it happen in LA in '09, and I saw it happen in Northern Nevada in '10. Despite all logic to the contrary, fire is a ravenous creature that will devour anything and everything in it's path. If you are even remotely in an area that can burn, GET THE F*CK OUT NOW. I'm deadly serious, get you, your family, and what bits of precious you can't bear to part with, and leave. Right now, if that's possible. I have watched fire run across the ground at 40 mph, torching old-growth trees to kindling in a matter of seconds. Don't stay. Leave. A home can be rebuilt, a life cannot be remade.
If you have time, prep your house. Cover any and all openings, this means windows, doors, vents, eaves, crawl spaces, any hole you can find needs to be covered with plywood or some other dense, semi-flame resistant material. Pull EVERYTHING away from the sides of your house, from wood piles to that lawn mower you keep meaning to fix to that Rhododendron your wife planted to that empty (or God help you, full) tank of propane. Pull flammable stuff away from windows and doors if it's in the house. And when evac time comes, leave a note on your door with contact info, number of people in your household, and your destination.
I'm so sorry I'm not there to help. I feel like I've let you all down. All I can do is sit here at home, feeling useless, and pass on what info I can. Stay safe, my thoughts are with all of you."

Photo posted by @donmoen

In Colorado Springs. Fire is threatening Air Force Academy. Photo posted by @KevinOzebek.

Colorado Springs fire. Note the houses on fire in the background. Photo courtesy of Fox 31 News in Denver.

Photo courtesy of @scottseibold. From what I can tell, he lives in Colorado Springs.

I find this picture particularly upsetting. This is a picture of the High Park fire, one of the worst in the state right now. Photo courtesy of RV Vagabonds. Read their blog, especially about how the Colorado Wolf Sanctuary has had to be evacuated because of the flames.

Map of all the wildfires currently burning in Colorado, as of June 23rd. Several more have cropped up in the past few days. Photo courtesy of Wildfire Today.

Citizens of High Park wait at a Red Cross station to see if they can return to their homes. Look at how many people have been displaced by just ONE fire.

Rocky Mountain Health Care services are in desperate need of toiletries, specifically towels, shampoo, soap, and food.

The Red Cross is collecting supplies and monetary donations. The link takes you to the local Colorado branches of the organization. I think almost all of them need donations. You can also donate $10 per text message by messaging REDCROSS to 90999.

SO MANY animals (wild and domestic) have been displaced by the fires. Here's two organizations that especially need your help:
If you live in Colorado and can help people displaced and homeless by the fires near Fort Collins, please visit this website:

Here are three links to more organizations that need your help and donations:
  • has a comprehensive list of ways to donate time, money, and supplies.
  • This article on The Denver Channel also has several other animal shelters, firefighter organizations, and donation centers that you can contact.
  • The Denver Post has a really great list of resources about the wildfires.
Please share this entry. I don't care about "spreading the word about the blog." I just want to help people and make sure that others know how to help people too.

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