Thank you to those of you who have reached out to see if we were ok during the most recent fire scare here in Gold Hill. As many of you know Colorado is experiencing an unprecedented fire season. On Saturday, October 17th, a fire broke out within a few miles of the Ranch two canyons north, at Calwood north of Jamestown. As we sat around the table eating lunch we discussed a pre-evacuation plan. We made some key phone calls in case we needed to move horses, we pulled a reserve of water, contacted some of our local staff folks about the possibility, and moved vehicles to be ready to go if we did need to leave in the night. However the Calwood fire moved east and north of Gold Hill and we did not have to evacuate that night or Sunday morning.
Then, on Sunday around noon, another fire broke out in Lefthand Canyon, just over and down from the Ranch’s northwest ridge at Weather Hill above our Council Fire ring. The big concern was if the fire might jump the road at the bottom of the canyon just over the hill from us. So, the mandatory evacuation order came quickly, and we put out the call to our people. Jojo managed a smooth and impressive process as we had local staff alumni, parents of staff members, family, and friends arrive ready to move swiftly to evacuate animals, photo albums, files, computers, and a few personal belongings. The Lefthand Canyon fire grew to around 500 acres, but our local firefighters held the fire at the road at the bottom of the canyon. Whew, close call for us, and disaster was averted this time. All of us in the Gold Hill area were able to return just last Thursday evening.
While we feel so fortunate that this current fire did not affect the Ranch, we also know what it is like to lose your home and property to a fire. Right now our neighboring communities are still feeling the impact of the Colorado fires. Many have lost their homes and others are closely watching the fire maps as they may need to evacuate. Fire is unpredictable and can leave many feeling powerless. It is hard to know what will happen next. After the Fourmile Canyon Fire of 2010 ravaged our area, our Camp community and the historic town of Gold Hill came back stronger than before. Yet, the camaraderie born of hardship may not be worth experiencing such a misfortune.
As we move through these most recent crises, we are still not out of the woods. Colorado fires are still smoldering. Another round of unseasonably warm weather and windy conditions, could fan the embers again. Our focus was diverted for a week to the immediate crisis that fire can present and we now return to where we’re heading. As we move on, the effects of COVID are still real, and we still need help to reach our fundraising goals. Many of you have already shown your generous support. If you have not yet helped and you are in a position to do so, now is the time! If you can, please give to our fundraising campaign HERE.
AND whatever it takes, remember to VOTE!