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Jun 26, 2012

Oh, Colorado....

I'm in Arizona and having a fantastic time at a family reunion.  Seriously...so awesome. But more about that later.

Right now my heart is heavy.  It is grieving, actually, for my beloved Colorado Springs that is engulfed in flames.  The Waldo Canyon fire started around noon on Saturday, June 23. As of 9:30 tonight, it had burned 6,200 acres, jumped the mountain ridge line, and entered residential areas.  I have been glued to the internet (mostly Facebook and this official incident site) and have been horrified at the pictures.  This is way too close to home--just about six miles from my house.

This photo was taken from Dillard's at Chapel Hills mall, which is a mile down the road from Garry's office.

Photo credit: Danielle Mortensen
And one from a building across the intersection from Garry's office.  The friend who took this photo said this glow is unretouched.

Photo Credit: Lindsey Lason
From a neighborhood in our old ward (between Garry's office and our house).

Photo Credit: Julie Zelasko
This one was taken from the Wolf Ranch neighborhood (east of us, but in our ward).

Photo Credit: Shaye Harger
And from Cordera (east and north, but in our ward).

Photo Credit: Tara Kelley-Cruz
Photo Credit: Tara Kelley-Cruz

The sun on Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Teletha Lambert

Photo Credit: Teletha Lambert

From the Air Force Academy (now evacuated).

Photo Credit: Eric Lescarbeau
With the AFA in the foreground.

Photo Credit: FOX 31 KDVR
This is close to the fire--west of I-25, near Vindicator & Centennial Roads.

Photo Credit: Unknown Facebook person
Homes burning.

Photo Credit: Jonathon Craft
Photo Credit: Kevin Kneble
Waldo Canyon.

Photo Credit: Gypsy Etaugh
Evacuees.

Photo Credit: KOAA 5
Photo Credit: Paula McInaney Woods
The fire after sunset Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Gypsy Etaugh
As of this evening, 32,000 people--including a few people I know and love--have been evacuated from their homes.  Garden of the Gods is burning.  Flying W Ranch has burned to the ground.  I am horrified by stories I have heard of being evacuated on 30 minutes notice, feeling the heat of the flames, and being covered by falling ash.  I have been receiving emails all day from our local church leaders, asking for volunteers to help with people in need.  It hurts my heart to see pictures of the fire, but I am even more pained to be far away and completely useless to my friends and neighbors.  I want to be there and do something and hug the people I love.

We are entertaining the possibility of driving to Mesa after our reunion, partly to avoid the terrible air quality in Colorado Springs, and partly to have a safe haven in case we are evacuated.  This plan sounds kind of great, but there are lots of problems with it, too (mostly because Garry needs to work).  We will watch the news and wait, and probably won't make a decision until Thursday.

Until then, we are mourning and praying.  And praying some more.
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