How to Help: Colorado Wildfires

The Colorado Springs/Waldo Canyon fire. Photo from

If you live in Colorado, you already know how crazy it is to live in a wildfire zone.  If you live anywhere else but happen to catch the news, you already know how hellish this month has been, with at least 3 major fires currently burning around the state.

There’s the catastrophic Colorado Springs/Waldo Canyon fire (which destroyed 346 homes and displaced tens of thousands of people), the Larimer County/High Park fire, which destroyed 257 buildings and is still burning, even though is started on June 9th, and the recent Flagstaff fire in Boulder, which as I write this is 40% contained.

The most fucked up thing about all these fires is a) we’re all praying for rain even though b) the brief daily thunderstorms that pass through are full of lighting strikes, which continue to set off all sorts of new fires.  I just read that today (Thursday, June 28th), 7 new fires were sparked by lighting between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m.  Seven!

A slurry bomber dropping fire retardant in the Flagstaff fire. Photo from

Thankfully, the fire crews are all over it.  They’re doing an awesome job staying on top of the small stuff so they get to the big stuff, but still.  Even with federal help, this is way more than anyone can handle.  This is insane.

So I wanted to post a link to this great article I found on the Denver Post with all sorts of resources for folks affected by the fires.  It also lists all sorts of ways that the rest of us can help:

How to assist Colorado wildfire victims; how to donate and help.

Like everyone else who lives in Colorado, I’d like to send a giant thank you to all the awesome firefighters who are out there working their asses off for us.

I don’t know that I ever appreciated them as much as I did two years ago, when the Fourmile Canyon fire ripped through our area, destroying 166 homes.  I never thought we’d be affected by this stuff, since we live in town.  I always thought it was the folks in the hills who had to worry.  And then the fire came down into the north edge of town, a mile away from where we lived.  We spent days glued to the sky and to the TV, and we ran outside every 15 minutes, when the helicopters and slurry bombers circled overhead.

Two days ago, when the Flagstaff fire began, we heard those same slurry bombers.  I was outside with the kids when I saw a helicopter circle overhead, and I guessed it was heading to the small lake where they’d picked up water two years ago, to dump on the Fourmile Canyon fire.

“Oh no,” Nico said.  “Not again.”

I looked at him in shock.  That fire was two years ago, and he didn’t forget.

Let’s not forget, either.  Let’s help in whatever way we can.

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2 Responses to How to Help: Colorado Wildfires

  1. Emily July 5, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Thanks for posting. I recently moved to Denver and have not been affected personally, but know that thousands around our state have. They need all of our help. Please continue spreading awareness.

    • tpajevic July 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      Thanks, Emily. And what a time to enter Denver! I’m really looking forward to things settling down-

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