“Even though we’re happy to report 45, we remain focused on the 55 and continue to try to move forward and put this thing to bed.”
Now that’s a quote worth meditating on. It was said by Commander Rich Harvey last night at a press briefing, explaining where the fire stands as of Saturday evening, June 30. He’s reporting good news, but remaining cautious. I suppose it is easy to get excited over the successes, but giddiness over successful battles isn’t what wins the war. At the beginning of the week, Harvey referenced the Waldo Canyon Fire as a “war,” and it is. And it isn’t over yet.
If you’re interested in exactly where we’re at fire-wise, check out this video; it accurately explains exactly where the fire is at right now, July 1, 2012. Harvey explains that the northern barrier of the fire is the part that is not contained. This, unfortunately for us, is the side of the fire that we face. The terrain is thick and steep, but the line must be held. There is nothing but miles of timber to its north.
But still, we’re rejoicing at three bits of great news. First, the fire’s perimeter has not grown. There are still burn areas in the middle that are burning up vegetation, but as the video explains, those are low priorities because those areas cannot spread.
Second, Monument has called off its pre-evacuation orders. Talk about a relief! We can only imagine what it is like for those on evacuation. Like everyone in the area, we will still be conscious of the weather and the fire’s development, but we’re now able to relax a bit and settle on some confidence that our family is safe.
Safe from the most damaging forest fire in Colorado’s history. I’m still in awe that no personnel injuries have occurred. We braced ourselves yesterday after the remains of two bodies were found. There were still about a dozen residents unaccounted for at the beginning of the day. Of 32,000 people evacuated when 357 homes were destroyed on Tuesday, only a dozen remained missing four days later? Amazing.
Ready for the greatest news? Third, all missing people are now accounted for. Two actually walked right in to the 8:00 AM news briefing, unaware that they were on the missing list! I can only imagine the joy of that discovery. Everyone feared the worst, but the best surprised them all.
Harvey, you’re a bigger man than I am, and I’m so glad you’re in charge. Because I can’t help myself from being extremely happy with this fantastic news. You and the rest of the firefighters are in our prayers!