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Mike & Neli’s Little Adventure

So, yeah, we are back from being evacuated in response to the Boulder FourMile Fire.

The house was actually on the East side of the fire, towards town, and the fire would have to traverse just about all the houses in our mountain suburb to get to us. And after us there are just a few homes and then we are in Boulder proper. There are other aspects to what burns and what doesn’t - and we could convince ourselves that our home was at great risk one minute and quite safe the next.

Some aspects of this is kind of humorous in retrospect.

On Friday, they decided to let us all go back to our homes at 10:00am. Mike & Neli, being kind of laid back and wanting to avoid any rush and long car lines, didn’t pack up our stuff in the hotel and make it back to our neighborhood until 12:40pm - 10 minutes(!) after they decided to NOT allow people back to their homes anymore. So back to the hotel we went and moved everything back into our room.

They changed their minds about letting us go back home because of the high winds that were now forecast for the evening. 50mph gusts they said. It was going to blow the fire towards our house from the WSW and then from the WNW. They also posted warnings for the West side of Boulder itself [they also advised Boulderites to prepare: mow their lawn, detach propane tanks from their BBQs and put them in the front yard, and all kinds of wacky stuff].

So, either we were screwed, or the 700 or so firefighters would be able to hold back the fire and, given the survival of this wind, the worst case scenario - we would be able to go back home Saturday.

So, that night, we got heavy winds - about 60mph in the foothills, which means maybe 70mph at the house. We would overhear all sorts of random people talking amongst themselves about how those homeowners up there were doomed. [No this didn’t stress us out much - we kind of wanted it to be all over is all, one way or another]

But at dusk we looked and we couldn’t see any fire, no orange telltale signs of fire like we saw on Monday night [i.e. the photo below]. So we went to sleep fairly hopeful, and, the winds scheduled to calm down around 3am, we would just have to see what had happened when we woke up in the morning.

Well, as we all know now, the 35 foot wide (I think it was) strip they cleared between our suburb and the fire [it is all black on the other side of this buffer zone. Not sure about what the one other threatened suburb did] and whatever chemical slurry they used - worked. And so here we are.

Since there is really nothing left to burn West of us anymore - we are now probably safer than ever before from something like this happening again for many, many years. Because all our windows were closed, there is no lingering smoke smell - in fact we have less dust than normal on the audio equipment [says me, Mike, the main system duster man] - although there is a new fire quite a ways North of us that is smoking Boulder and Denver some - and we can smell that periodically.

So, all in all, for us, it was just one of those annoying blips in life - one that could have been life altering - but was instead kind of ‘boring’. Yes, boring can be good, sometimes. :-)

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